Women and children too often bear the brunt of poverty around the world. Concern knows we can’t address extreme poverty without focusing on their needs. The following experience of a Syrian refugee family exemplifies the kind of life-changing work your support makes possible.
A Path to Safety and Stability
Some three billion people worldwide live on less than $2.50 a day, and 70 percent of them are women. Millions of women also face discrimination and abuse, and are denied access to education and economic opportunities.
Fatma* is a 32-year-old mother of five who has experienced all of these hardships in her young life. She never attended school growing up in Syria and married at a young age, having her first child at 18. The conflict forced Fatma, her children and husband to flee their home to start a new life in Turkey. During this time, Fatma was dealing with physical violence from her husband and psychological abuse from her brothers.
Fatma’s husband decided to move back to Syria and cancelled the temporary protection registration of the whole family, which allows them to receive financial assistance and access health care and education. Fatma decided to stay in Turkey with her children for safety, leaving her vulnerable and fending for the family alone.
Fatma’s neighbor connected her to Concern’s local Protection Hub, where she attended sessions on positive parenting and early marriage and connected with a legal counsellor for one-on-one support.
After sharing her story, Fatma started receiving support from Concern’s Protection Programme. Concern helped Fatma and her children reactive their temporary protection registration and find a safe place to live, paying three months of rent to help them to get on their feet. Household items such as mattresses, blankets, pillows, and a heater were also provided by Concern, as well as supermarket gift cards to buy food. For the first time, Fatma started to work and found a job selling vegetables.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has now temporarily suspended her employment so Concern has provided another three months of rent to ensure Fatma and her family are kept safe.
Empowering the Next Generation
Vulnerable children also need extra help to survive and thrive. Education is a basic human right and one so often denied to displaced children. It is critically important to breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty.
Fatma’s eldest child, a 12-year-old-boy, felt it was his duty to work in a small shop to support his mother and siblings after his father left. He is now taking part in Concern’s Education Fighting Child Labour Programme, and receives a monthly financial stipend to ensure the family meets its basic needs while he remains in school.
All of Fatma's 5 children are now enrolled at school, attending classes remotely during the pandemic.
Fatma and her children’s new life is completely unrecognizable from the way they was living mere months ago.
In her own words, “The circumstances that I experienced had made my life hell. However, I now have started to love life and to devote more attention to my children. Since I found Concern, I have experienced different paths to goodness and peace of mind.”
*For safety and security reasons, we have changed Fatma's name and did not show her or her family's faces.