Once again, thank you to those of you who so kindly donated money to Maria and Jessy and their family. They were overwhelmed by your generosity. Thank you.
I spoke with Maria and Jessy and their Mum Betul on the telephone yesterday.
For the moment they are safe, but the situation is getting increasingly dangerous. Given this deteriration, I am anxious to transfer them some more money to help with their daily needs, before it becomes impossible to do so.
Their immediate neighbourhood, Tabbaleh, has been relatively calm - only two explosions so far (!) - but the outskirts of Damascus are rapidly being destroyed. I fear it is only a matter of time until Tabbaleh is swallowed up by violence. Even on the telephone, the rumble of bombers in the sky above the apartment can be heard clearly. Water and electricity are only available for a couple of hours per day.
Maria has begun her University studies in Journalism, and though it wasn't what she had hoped to read, she is - as always - making the best of it. Jessy has four months to go until her final Baccalaureate exams. Unfortunately, she is showing worring signs of stress as a result of the violence around them and I'm hoping to find a psychologist to speak with her on the phone once a week and give her some coping strategies. Their father, Daoud, is still without a job and Betul is busy keeping everyone going, body and soul. Food and gas is becoming very scarce. Daoud goes to the market once a week as Betul is too nervous to go herself, and they make do with what they can afford; which is very little indeed.
Betul and Daoud have thought at length about leaving Syria, but feel that this would be too great a gamble; their apartment is all they have by way of savings so they would have to sell it (for a fraction of its value) in order to afford to leave. In Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan they would be placed in a camp which is of course a frightening prospect. Having sold their apartment they wouldn't have the means to return to Syria.
In the meantime, the family needs help with paying for basics - food, gas, water, transport to school and university. Anything you feel able to donate would make an enormous difference.
It would be wonderful if we could contribute together to help support Maria, Jessy, Betul and Daoud through the coming weeks and months and to do so before making such transfers becomes impossible.
ps. If you have any questions about how to donate etc drop me an email at [email protected] or call me on +447557 005 096