In Syria this winter, hope takes the form of a hat

8-year-old Syrian refugee Moayyed wears a new warm hat from the UNHCR winter clothing kit.

Next month will mark the eighth anniversary of the war in Syria. For the women, men and children trapped inside this ravaged country, life is a desperate struggle for survival — and winter is especially brutal.

But people carry on — and gestures of love, selflessness and kindness abound.

When UNHCR — the UN Refugee Agency — delivered winter supplies to Kafr Antoun, a rural village in northern Aleppo, last October, protection officers met a young boy named Moayyad. For this 8-year-old and his family, home was a building without electricity. Unable to afford fuel, their heating source was whatever wood they could find to burn.

Cold weather was looming, so the family was grateful to receive thermal blankets, plastic sheeting to weatherproof their shelter, warm clothes and sleeping bags that USA for UNHCR donor support provided.

Moayyed opens up his family's UNHCR winter clothing kit.

Moayyad was especially excited when he found a warm hat in the UNHCR winter clothing kit. Although he tried it on, he decided to save it for his niece or nephew, who was expected to arrive any day. "My sister will have a baby soon, and I will give the newborn this knitted hat," he explained.

"My sister will have a baby soon, and I will give the newborn this knitted hat."

The family also received a solar light, which Moayyad proudly installed by himself.

Moayyed installing the solar light his family received.  Moayyed, his mother and a UNHCR protection officer install the family's new solar light.

Moayyad’s family was among the 50 families UNHCR provided winterization kits on that October day in Kafr Antoun. Thanks to caring Americans, the UN Refugee Agency has rushed aid to people throughout Syria — focusing on the most vulnerable like Moayyad, who live in remote regions and lack adequate shelter.

To make sure that Syrians have the protection and supplies they need to survive during the coldest months, UNHCR’s winterization strategy focuses on three broad areas:

Provision of seasonal cash assistance, provision of core relief items, winterization of shelter

UNHCR knows what’s at the heart of these logistics, supplies and tactics — children like Moayyad. And the winter hat that he is saving for his newborn niece or nephew represents more than protection from the cold. It symbolizes love and hope for a brighter future.

Here's how you can help...

Becoming a USA for UNHCR monthly donor is the most convenient, effective and efficient way you can help people fleeing violence and persecution in Syria — and all over our world. Stand by their side. Help them survive. Give them hope. Start making a lifesaving difference with your monthly gifts today.

Feb 19 2019
TOPICS News Syria Winter
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