The young girl moves slowly ahead through the camp, bent forward, bobbing, torn sweater pulled over tattered shirt and worn pants. But even coats and layered clothing can’t stop its relentless chill.
The cold wind stings her raw-red face, as she scrapes numbed toes, covered only by her mother’s overlarge slippers, to clear the ground of new-fallen snow that clumps down around her naked foot inside. Scarlet little fingers reach stiffly for something uncovered on the ground. An old plastic wrapper. A crumpled paper piece. A trashed cigarette pack. What luck if she finds a twig or wood scrap!
Only 7, the little girl joins in a life-saving task — finding fire fuel to warm her family's frigid shelter of flimsy walls and scant roof, air snapping thin, leaking water and wind, holding nothing in.
A child risks frostbite, sickness, and death in the freezing cold — to bring moments of heat to the makeshift refuge her grandparents, mother, baby brothers huddle in to survive — their home long lost to war and savagery in riven Syria.
This is no imaginary tale. We’ve seen it year after year among the 5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey, and among the nearly 2 million now displaced in the continuing bombings of Idlib and northwest Syria — children scavenging for fuel in the snow and cold.
“I remember one mother saying her daughter was ill from inhaling fumes of burning plastic, but that was all they had to create warmth,” said Amna Mirza, head of marketing and communications for Zakat Foundation of America.
This year, Zakat Foundation and its supporters have committed to hand-deliver 1 million metric tons of solid fuel to these hard-tested Syrian refugee families, to stock them with a dependable heat source for the entire winter, with the gracious will of God.
Just $150 will warm this little girl and her whole family –— and tens of thousands like them — with your compassionate gift.
“Covid makes this winter an even more dire life-and-death race to warm these refugee families now,” said Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation’s executive director. “And the cost we’ve procured is exceptionally reasonable — to heat a family through all the winter months for just $150! And the need of our brothers and sisters could not be more urgent.”
Give the gift of steady warmth this winter to a Syrian refugee family today. Protect exposed women, children, and the elderly from deathly cold and sickness.