“One of my relatives in Syria disappeared on his way home and we haven’t heard from him in days! He just visited his uncle and wanted to be back for dinner.” With tears in her eyes Hevin* came to our fitness project. “He’s only 14!” she added. Immediately the women surrounded her in compassion, also in shock. “Sadly, that’s happening quite often these days” I was told by one of them. All of us were troubled, as we gathered to comfort Hevin. After thanking her for sharing her heart with us, she said: “I needed to come. I don’t have any other place like this, where I can share and people really care.” The other women were nodding. Many of them started to come to the fitness classes, because they wanted to lose weight and realizing then, that that was just the initial reason, but they also found a loving community of friends, they can share with and being together on this way.
Very often that’s the most powerful thing we as humans can do for each other. To show each other our vulnerability and realizing, we’re are not alone in this. There are others and I’m seen. That’s what happens again and again in our project, that the Syrian women of the camp experience a place where people really care and share. Losing weight might be one of the main reasons why they start to come, but why they actually stay and continue to come is the hope and the community they get.
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