Refugee Stories

Refugee siblings give each other hope

Refugee sisters hugging

"I love my little sister…I want to protect her from bad things and try to show her only good things,” says 8-year-old Amne as she hugs her little sister.

The love siblings share is like no other. And for refugee siblings, that love can help them through even the most difficult times. Refugee brothers and sisters rely on each other to learn, play and grow as they navigate new countries and new homes.

Meet four groups of siblings who have been forced to flee their homes but have kept their families close.

Zeinab and Rayan

Syrian refugee sisters do taekwondo

For Syrian refugees Zeinab and Rayan, playtime means time to practice taekwondo. The sisters, who live in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan, have had to put a pause on their education during the pandemic when both their school and taekwondo training center were forced to close due to COVID-19. But they are still practicing together at home. “We're training at home so when lockdown ends we'll have developed more skills."

Gaith, Mohammed and Jamil

Syrian refugee brothers play soccer

Gaith is just 13-years-old but he has big dreams of becoming a famous soccer player one day. His brothers, Mohammed and Jamil, help him practice his skills on the field. But off the field, the brothers must also work as a team to help their father earn a living. The Syrian refugee family works together to sell vegetables in Lebanon—the boys carry deliveries up the stairs since their father is sick and unable to do it himself.

Marcela, Miranda and Mariángel

Venezuelan sisters do school work in COVID-19 pandemic

Marcela, Miranda and Mariángel were forced to flee Venezuela due to widespread violence and lack of access to basic services. They found refuge in Quito, Ecuador, but the sisters struggled to get an education because of the pandemic. Before receiving tablets from UNHCR, Marcela, Miranda and Mariángel had to share a single cell phone to do their homework. But between lessons they kept each other entertained by building a dollhouse from scratch.

Khateyeh and Lotfullah

Afghan siblings seek asylum

Although she is only nine years old, Khateyeh knows the importance of cherishing your time with your siblings. Some of her older siblings lost their lives back in Afghanistan and on the journey to Greece, devastating Khateyeh, her older brothers and her father. Now Khateyeh never misses an opportunity to spend quality time studying and shopping with her big brothers, and she treasures every minute of being a big sister to one-year-old Lotfullah.

How you can help…

You can help refugee children access the resources they need to play, learn, and grow after arriving in a new country by becoming USA for UNHCR’s newest monthly donor. Your support will help families not only survive together, but thrive together.

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