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Farah is from a small country town outside of Damascus. She lived there with her two sons and three daughters and has very fond memories of their safe and happy life before the war. But when the conflict started, Farah had to flee and experienced things she never thought she would in her lifetime.
Conflict and camps
She told us that when the war started it felt very surreal. They had always thought the conflict would stop, but after a year and a half of prolonged violence, which was moving closer and closer to their home, she was forced to flee across the border into Jordan to keep her family safe. They left everything behind. She said the fear her family experienced and the feeling of trying to keep her young children safe was “unbearable, I can’t even explain.” After a difficult journey to Jordan, Farah’s family spent years living in makeshift camps and surviving on rations. Most refugees in Jordan aren’t able to work, and without any way to earn an income, Farah was struggling to provide for her and her family.
Finding new ways of living
When I first arrived in Jordan, our family had very little. I had to try and find another way to support my family and my children to go to school. I had been taught how to make cheese back in Syria so I thought that I could try and make a business out of my skill by selling a small amount to friends and family.
With the support of the Ration Challenge community, Farah and her family received vital food rations, which enabled her to put just a small amount of money aside to buy the ingredients needed to make cheese and pursue her business idea. After that, her business kicked off.
For months and months I put just a small amount of money aside to buy milk and would make a very small batch of cheese, selling it to friends and neighbours. Each time I sold a batch, I would put money aside so I could pay for my children’s education.
Since starting her small cheese business, Farah managed to, bit by bit, grow her income so that now, five years after fleeing the war, she is no longer reliant on food rations. Through her hard work and determination, and with your support, she is able to pay school fees, buy essentials and support her children’s education.
Refugees during Covid-19
But now, refugees like Farah are facing a new challenge with the coronavirus outbreak. We’re all affected by the coronavirus, but not equally. And refugees, who were already living through a nightmare, with limited access to food, healthcare and government support, are some of the hardest hit.
Join us in showing refugees we really are #inthistogether by taking the Ration Challenge 2020.
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