Idlib, Syria – Nearly a yr in the past, Nader Mohammed Al-Bakri, 43, and his spouse, displaced folks from the southern Idlib countryside, met their little lady Jouri.
Nader and his spouse of twenty-two years, who’ve lived within the city of Sarmada since 2013, underwent a number of surgical procedures and prolonged therapies to conceive, all with out success. They have been determined to have a baby.
“I still remember her first look,” Al-Bakri informed Al Jazeera. “I felt it when she smiled at me, I was her father.”
There is not any Islamic adoption within the Western sense of the phrase in Syria, nevertheless, fostering a baby is feasible and is often a lifetime association.
Nader heard about Child Houses, a short lived care house for youngsters starting from new child to 18 years outdated in northwestern Syria. Established in 2019, it takes care of minors who’ve been deserted or are unaccompanied or separated from their households.
Nader and his spouse utilized to be thought-about as foster dad and mom to one of many kids at Child Houses, and some weeks later, they heard the great information: they might foster a two-month-old child lady.
“Right away, we decided to name her Jouri because the name symbolises the Damask rose and she will be the flower that adorns our lives forever,” Nader added.
Jouri is now a yr and a half outdated and has began taking her first steps and calling for her mom and father.
“The greatest moment in my life was when Jouri said ‘Baba’. I felt like I owned all the treasures of the world and forgot all my worries,” he mentioned.
“Life before Jouri was hell and life after Jouri is paradise,” mentioned Al-Bakri.
Ahmed of the soul
The pleasure that lastly having a foster baby is apparent on the face of one other couple, together with just a few tears. Abdul Khaliq Msalahlou and his spouse Khawla Ghazi sit in a household room in Child Houses and look lovingly on the child boy they are going to be sponsoring.
This is a dream come true for them, after so a few years, they’re lastly turning into dad and mom.
After attempting fertility therapies for a very long time, Khawla and her husband determined to strive sponsoring a baby.
“All the pain, the deprivation of the past 15 years vanished today when I first held Ahmed. I chose his name before I even saw him,” mentioned Khawla, 32, from the western countryside of Aleppo.
“I’m a childcare provider, but working with children couldn’t fill the void in my life. I needed to be a mother to a child who lives with me,” Khawla defined.
When Khawla acquired a message from Child Houses to come back to satisfy the kid they’d sponsor, she instantly rushed to purchase requirements and arrange a room for him, she informed Al Jazeera.
“I decorated Ahmed’s room with bracelets, on which I wrote ‘Ahmed Al-Rouh’ because he will be my soul and beating heart.”
The deserted kids of Syria
As the struggle in Syria continues to forged its darkish shadow, forcing folks into determined conditions, baby abandonment has elevated, significantly within the northwestern areas.
More and extra dad and mom are pressured to surrender their kids as a result of they can not afford to maintain them or assure their security or well-being as they attempt to outrun the bombs.
“Every month, three to six newborns are abandoned by their parents in northwestern Syria,” defined Faisal Hamoud, the Child Houses programme director, including that the quantity is even larger for older kids due to the elevated monetary burden on households,
“The percentage of homeless children increases by 20 percent each year,” he mentioned.
The United Nations classifies kids who’ve been separated from their households, are unaccompanied or dwell with aged caregivers or folks with disabilities as among the many most weak.
Child Houses follows particular procedures for every baby, Hamoud defined. It begins with on the lookout for the kid’s unique household after which extending the search to household tracing, searching for out family or former caregivers. The final step, if they can not hint the kid’s beginning household is discovering another household.
“The vision of Child Houses is based on the right of every child to live within a safe family that preserves, protects, and cares for them. This principle is derived from humanitarian principles and child protection principles,” mentioned Hamoud.
World Children’s Day is widely known yearly on November 20. Declared in 1954, it goals to advertise worldwide unity, elevate consciousness amongst kids worldwide and enhance baby welfare. The theme for 2023 is: “For every child, every right.”