Sara’s story in her own words:
“I am fourteen years old and from Deir Ezzor. I now live in the camp with my parents, four brothers and baby sister.
One evening two years ago, I was watching television with my family when my street was bombed and parts of my house collapsed around us. When we went outside to see the damage, I got chemical dust in my eyes and was in great pain. My eyes were burning and I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know how I could get out safely when I couldn’t see, but my older brother led me out by holding my hands. I thought the blast had hurt my brother too but thankfully he was unharmed.
After we escaped our house, we sheltered in the alley way just behind it. We could hear that the airplanes were still flying around so we waited until it was quiet. When we returned to our home, my family told me that the whole house had been flattened. I was so sad when I knew that our home was destroyed.
We fled in the car in the night and had to make a river crossing, which was really scary. We couldn’t take much with us, so I had to leave most of my belongings behind. I miss many things from my home - my toys, my family photos. After we arrived at this camp, I had to close my eyes for a whole month. I couldn’t see an eye doctor to get specialist care, and I still can’t see very far in the distance two years later.
Before the war, my life was very, very beautiful. I was happy with my family and my friends. I am not so happy anymore. My life and the war are one now. I hear warplanes and missiles falling all the time. Whenever I hear a plane in the sky I still get so scared.
But I love coming to the Child Friendly Space so much and I love that my parents let me come. It makes me feel less scared and alone. When I first came to this camp, I felt very lonely and like I didn’t have any friends. I thought there wouldn’t be anyone to play with. But now I have lots of friends and a football team! I love football so much, not just a little bit! I play goalkeeper and my team always beats the boys’ team because I save all the goals. It makes me so happy to play with my friends here. I think the Child Friendly Space is important as it makes me feel like I have a future and I have friends. In the future I want to be a teacher.
I loved taking part in the survey and I think it’s important to ask children about our lives. It’s hard to imagine the future of my country at the moment – how can we rebuild Syria when we don’t even have a house? In the future, I want to help my family and rebuild our home. I would tell the world’s children not to go too far from your families and don’t play with anything dangerous.”
Save the Children supports displaced children and their families living in camps across northeast Syria, as well as host communities, with Child Protection, Nutrition, Health, Education and emergency relief. We run Child Friendly Spaces, provide psychosocial support and carry out Case Management for the most vulnerable children. We screen young children for acute malnutrition, and support pregnant and breastfeeding women through group and one-to-one counselling sessions. We also help children continue their education by setting up temporary learning spaces and distributing essential school supplies.
Thank you for your continued support!