Beneficiary profile: Damra from Homs

Published: 12 January 2016 10:48 CET

After waiting for few hours, it is finally Damra’s turn to pick up her cash assistance card from the Jordan National Red Crescent Society volunteers. With these 120 Jordanian dinars, she is able to pay part of the 250 dinars rent fees of the three-bedroom apartment where she currently lives with her five children.

Fearing for their safety amid Syria’s deteriorating security situation, Damra left Homs for Mafraq in 2012. “I was worried my kids would be slaughtered. Many kids were and I didn’t want mine to face the same destiny.”

In Mafraq, Damra relies on the monthly assistance of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society, and on the occasional help of locals who know that she is a widowed mother of five and are willing to support her. Her eldest sons have dropped out of school and are currently unemployed, as refugees are not allowed to work in Jordan. Her two youngest attend evening classes.

“We do not have any other source of income. Sometimes, I cook traditional Syrian food at home and sell it to other refugees and Jordanian families. This helps me cover some of our expenses,” she says, wiping her tears with her glove-covered hands.

Her small brown eyes are the only part of her that is visible, the rest being fully covered, but they are enough to tell a story of pain.

“When we arrived in Mafraq, I thought we would stay here for just a month or two. But three years have already passed and we are still here,” Damra says.

Despite the hardship, Damra does not consider returning to Homs. “Many of the refugee families I know went back to Syria after aid dried up here in Mafraq, but I will not do the same. I worry about my kids’ safety there. My eldest two sons even considered crossing the Mediterranean to reach Germany, but I discouraged them because of the stories we hear about boats capsizing,” she explains.

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