Khitam strives to build a better future for her children
UNICEF helps impoverished families with cash for winter assistance
Suran, Rural Hama: “When we returned to our village, we found our house looted. There was nothing left,” Khitam, 42, explained.
Khitam, the mother of three, was displaced twice with her family during the conflict. She managed to return home to Suran village four years ago.
On the days when I don’t work, I feed my children from the little amount of food I keep stored for emergencies.
Khitam’s husband has visual impairment, so she alone supports the family. She struggles with scarcity of everything. “We have no cash, no food and no furniture,” Khitam said.
The increasingly high monthly rent for the house is Khitam’s biggest economic challenge. She spends the biggest percentage of her income for the one room they live in. Khitam supports her family by baking and selling bread, barely making ends meet. “On the days when I don’t work, I feed my children from the little amount of food I keep stored for emergencies,” she explained.
In September 2022, Khitam’s family was registered for UNICEF’s winter assistance for vulnerable families in Suran village in rural Hama.
In October 2022, Khitam received her first cash transfer of US$ 60 and spent it on buying critical items for her children. “I was so relieved when I received the cash. It came exactly on time! I bought my children new stationary and new clothes for school. Also, I bought them food and stored it for emergencies,” Khitam said.
Khitam believes that educating her three children is her main goal in life despite the difficult living situation. “I will do everything I possibly can to see them achieve the highest level of education. It is the only way they can overcome difficulties in life and live with dignity” Khitam explained.
UNICEF winter assistance, informed by evidence and lessons learned, provides unconditional cash to families with children in urban and peri-urban areas during wintertime.
This assistance will help families pay for essential items they need throughout the winter. UNICEF’s support focuses mainly on families caring for children living with severe mental or physical disabilities as well as female-headed families severely affected by several displacements.
During the current winter season, the registered families will receive three rounds of cash transfers. Additionally, a dedicated social worker will support and help families and children with special needs access the essential services they need throughout the winter.
In 2022, UNICEF aims to reach 200,000 people living in the most vulnerable and impoverished neighbourhoods across Syria with the multi-purpose cash for winter assistance to help them fulfil some of their basic needs. The activities will be funded by the Governments of Canada and Denmark; EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO); France National Committee for UNICEF; Luxembourg National Committee for UNICEF; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); UNICEF’s Global Humanitarian Thematic Fund; and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.