Since 2011, Syrians have been fleeing their country to escape a brutal civil war. Catholic Relief Services continues to help these refugees in several countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.
Near the Syrian border, in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, CRS supports our partner the Good Shepherd Sisters in operating a center for Syrian children living with their parents in a refugee camp in Deir al Ahmar. The center also serves Lebanese children in the area. The children receive basic education, after-school care and trauma counseling. In addition, CRS and the Good Shepherd Sisters have provided food, shelter materials, blankets, heaters and other critical supplies to people living in the camp.
The CRS-supported Good Shepherd Sisters center in Deir al Ahmar, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, provides a range of classes—including dance—to some 350 refugee children, as well as a daily hot meal for every child. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Students, from left, Zainab, 10, and Ola and Evine, 12, attend science class at the Good Shepherd Sisters center. These refugees fled Syria’s Idlib and Aleppo provinces for Lebanon, where the winter has been harsh. Besides schooling, the sisters provide children with winter clothes and meet other critical needs. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Brahim, 8, right, and Jado, 10, Syrian refugees from Aleppo province, play at the Good Shepherd Sisters center. With CRS’ support, the sisters organize summer camps with various activities and provide trauma counseling. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Sisters Shaymeh, foreground, and Wassaif, both 4, live in an informal tent settlement in Bachir. Their family—Syrian refugees from Raqqa—fled their home 5 months ago. The Good Shepherd Sisters have provided materials to repair refugees’ tents and make them warmer for winter. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
A CRS-supplied wood-burning stove helps warm a family’s tent. “Without the heater and the wood we would have died from the cold,” says Sabah, the children’s mother. “It was difficult finding wood in a snowstorm,” she says. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Children get hot meals daily at the Good Shepherd Sisters center in Deir al Ahmar, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Soha Menassa, a CRS project manager in Lebanon, talks with a Syrian child from Raqqa at the Bachir informal tent settlement in Deir al Ahmar in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Abir, a Syrian mother of two, fled her home in Raqqa 11 months ago. Just before a recent snowstorm, the sisters helped refugees like Abir get sturdy tents from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Abir holds her daughter Nejwa, 2, outside their tent. CRS supports the Good Shepherd Sisters in supplying refugees like Abir with heaters or stoves, fuel or wood, tents, blankets and gaslights to keep wolves away during winter nights. During a recent snowstorm, refugees also received extra food rations, mattresses, kitchenware and hygiene kits. Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Learn more about Catholic Relief Services work with Syrian refugees here.