This mission is particularly important for us: we will not only provide medical aid and food packs, but we will also try to census all the children.
In the camp there are more than a thousand children. More than a hundred are orphans of one or both parents. We want to census the orphans first, in order to start a project of distance support as soon as possible. We will identify an Italian donor for every orphan or a group of orphan siblings.
When we land the heat is terrible, even at night. Our thoughts immediately go to the children working 10 hours a day in the fields and living in the camp in these harsh conditions.
We start the mission checking that the 500 food packs are ready and we find out that they’ll be ready the next morning.
This time Anna, a doctor, is travelling with us. We received most of the medicines and milk powder by Italian donors and we buy some more in the morning. After that, we follow the vans carrying the food packs to the camp.
The doctor spends the whole day visiting children under extreme temperatures.
We come across malnourished newborns and we give them milk. We soon realize that we need to buy more milk, since we don’t have enough. We meet a baby in serious conditions: due to an infection, he suffers from cerebral palsy and is fed with a tube in his stomach. We give the child some multivitamin and protein milk, but next time we will provide this child with the specific food he needs. The doctor, Anna, finds out the baby has another infection. She gives him an antibiotic and teaches the mother how to continue the cure.
Food distribution is always a moment that brings confusion, but the two chiefs of the camp are making a very good job and it’s a lot easier now that they have the list of the families.
We pass on to the children census . We count them and take pictures so that they can be associated to a donor. This is a very tough job (there are many children and a lot of confusion) but we manage to get through it.
The interpreter is mostly needed to assist the doctor, but he tries to give a hand to all of us.
In the evening we are exhausted but happy because we counted all the orphans and we can start the adoptions once we are back home.
The morning after we move to Kilis, close the border and 4 hours by car from the camp. In Kilis we meet the families we started to support from Italy. Majad from the association “The Sons of War” is our contact person and he always gives us a place to sleep when we are there. His team support us when we’re in Kilis and when we’re in Italy. We personally deliver the checks to the families, but if sometimes (very seldom) we can’t, they do it for us.
Majad also runs a small laboratory where Syrian women make soap and small objects in order to earn some money and escape poverty. We always buy some products and bring them back to Italy as gadgets. The three of us (Arianna, Andrea e Anna) have worked closely together, without any complaint or misunderstanding. Days are long and busy, and what you see often compromise your balance, but things are a lot easier when you are a team and share the same values and beliefs.