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Campaign Stories
  Acting on Pope Francis' call for inter-religious cooperation in the Middle East
  Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian refugee child's eyes
  Dialogue is the Solution in Syria, not War
  Displaced by conflict in Syria, refugee helps others
  Examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to the conflict in Syria
  Families flee Syria to protect their children
  In Syria conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians
  Jesuit priest: people of Homs hunger for normality
  Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
  Jesuit Refugee Service Syria staff stand together in serving the displaced
  Jordan: accompaniment comes first for refugees
  Jordan: eat dust here or die in Syria
  Jordan: living in the shadow of Syria's crisis
  JRS in Iraq as winter imperils displaced families
  JRS Jordan director visits U.S. universities, parishes
  JRS urges Australia, U.S. to increase humanitarian intake
  Lebanon: educational boost for refugee children
  Lebanon: families from Syria seek safety, shelter
  Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
  Lebanon: space for refugees from Syria to learn
  Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education
  Lebanon: Syrian refugee children counting on school
  Middle East: updates from JRS
  Pope urges concrete help for refugees
  Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
  Syria: bringing families together
  Syria: daily life a struggle to survive
  Syria: amidst upheaval, JRS expands services
  Syria: enduring spirit remains despite the rubble
  Syria: five years on, time for diplomacy to deliver
  Syria: food & fuel shortages add to daily woes
  Syria: interfaith family volunteers in Aleppo
  Syria: JRS refugee center destroyed, our work continues
  Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
  Syria: maintaining normalcy in Aleppo
  Syria: Refugees from Iraq on the sidelines of yet another conflict
  Syria: shelter and food difficult to find
  Syria: thousands more displaced by violence in Aleppo
  Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon
  Syria: urgent need for winter supplies
  Syria: violence in Damascus fuels hopelessness, fear
  Syria: why people flee and why they need protection
  Syrian refugees face food cuts in Jordan, Lebanon
  Water is a precious gift in Syria
  Witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians
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"We have suffered much and also discriminated against in the schools; here at the JRS Center everyone is our brother and sister. They love us, and we love them all." - Rama

“We had to move at least twenty times from one place to another. When we finally returned to our ‘original home’ it had been completely burned down and destroyed” says Rama a thirteen year old girl, from Homs, Syria. After fleeing from one place to the next due to horrific violence, Rama and her family are back in Homs, but living in a destroyed home with no doors or windows and little access to electricity or water. To add further stress, Rama’s father is not employed, so their family finances are very tight. The war has also interrupted her schooling, and Rama is facing some of the mental health consequences of her trauma – becoming violent and withdrawn, hardly smiling or interacting with others.

Rama’s story is not unique. Millions of children in Syria have come under attack and had their lives turned upsidedown. According to UNICEF, 8.4 million Syrian children, inside and outside of Syria are in need of humanitarian aid and millions have been born in the middle of the brutal conflict that began more than six years ago. These children have been living in the midst of violence; having to flee from one place to another seeking safety and security. Deprived of their childhood and experiencing significant trauma, one in four Syrian refugee children are at risk for developing significan mental health issues (click here to read Save The Children’s research, Invisible Wounds).

JRS is working across Syria to ensure children like Rama, who have experienced serious trauma, have the tools and education that they need. In Damascus, JRS is currently providing summer activities for over 90 children in the midst of current violence - offering opportunities for joyful learning  and activities such as singing, music, theater, and art. In Aleppo, JRS is working to ensure that children have their essential needs met with distribution of food, gas cookers, clothing, and hygiene kits.

In Homs, JRS has three centers, all of which offer education and activities for children. When they returned to Homs, Rama was enrolled in the JRS program. At first, she had a difficult time, refusing to mix with other children and preferring isolation, but the JRS social worker and staff worked closely with Rama and her family to help her regain her self-esteem.

Rama’s mother is unable to hide her joy and gratitude to JRS for all that they have done for Rama. “All what we ask is the safety of our children; you at JRS have provided it; you have warmly welcomed us; you have accompanied us,” she says, “above all, you have returned to me my Rama, the lovely girl that I used to know.”

Rama dreams of a bright future. Her joy and laughter is contagious and can be heard through out the JRS center – the sound of the return of hope.
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