UNICEF helps children in East Ghouta keep warm during harsh winter

Thanks to the contribution from Canada and the Department for International Development (DFID), over 32,000 clothing kits distributed to children aged 0-14, including 5,000 to children in Hammourieh.

UNICEF
child standing next to UNICEF boxes
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
10 February 2020

UNICEF helps children in East Ghouta keep warm during harsh winter Following a lull in violence and after years of conflict, siege and displacement, families started returning to their destroyed homes in villages across East Ghouta, rural Damascus, amid a severe lack of services and damaged infrastructure. One such village is Hammourieh, once a bustling destination for furniture shoppers thanks to its skilled carpentry workshops, and now home to around 19,000 people, living in rudimentary conditions and poverty.

children happy wearing new winter clothes
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Siblings Firas ,12, Mohammad ,11, Batoul ,8, and Fatima, 3, all received new winter clothing kits, distributed by UNICEF in Hamourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “Since I lost my husband four years ago, life has been very difficult,” says Huda, their mother. “Receiving warm clothes for my children relieved me from a heavy burden."
two children with school backs walking in street
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
To help ease the financial burden on families and bring some warmth to children in rural Damascus, UNICEF is distributing over 32,000 clothing kits to children aged 0-14, including 5,000 to children in Hammourieh, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and the Department for International Development (DFID). Each clothing kit contains a thermal outfit, a winter jacket, woolen hat, scarf and gloves, as well as winter shoes.
child checking UNICEF box with new winter clothes
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Amjad, 8, happily checks the new shoes he received as part of the winter clothing kit distributed by UNICEF in Hammourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “I only have slippers, so my feet are always wet which makes me feel even colder!” explains Amjad who is excited to be able to play in the street with his friends in his new shoes.

“I only have slippers, so my feet are always wet which makes me feel even colder!”

Amjad, 8

Dropping temperatures are adding to the vulnerability of families who are increasingly unable to provide for their children’s most basic needs, including for winter clothes, after years of displacement, loss of livelihoods and inflation.

Families rely on burning nylon bags, rags, or firewood when they can afford it, for some warmth. Power cuts are a daily reality for over 17 hours per day, while many families have had to replace broken windows and doors with plastic sheets, pieces of cardboard or even thin blankets, to fend off the cold wind.

two children standing next UNICEF boxes
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Siblings Akram,16, and Mohammad, 14, both received new winter clothing kits, distributed by UNICEF in Hamourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “Our house was destroyed in fighting so we now live in a room on a farm,” explains Akram who needs the shoes to protect his feet while he helps his father on the farm. “The clothes will keep us warm, especially at night,” he adds.
child girl wearing new hat sitting next to UNICEF boxes
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Ghina, 10, received new winter clothes, distributed by UNICEF in Hamourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “I’ll wear the woolen hat even to bed, to keep me warm at night,” says Ghina, whose broken window was replaced by a plastic sheet.

“I’ll wear the woolen hat even to bed, to keep me warm at night,”

Ghina, 10
child carrying UNICEF box
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Mustafa, 13, carries his newly-received winter clothing kit, distributed by UNICEF in Hamourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “I usually layer three or four sweaters to go to school because I don’t have a warm winter jacket,” explains Mustafa. “Now I have one to protect me against the cold and the rain.”

“I am excited to go to school in new clothes and shoes,”

Najwa, 10
child girl carrying UNICEF box
UNICEF/Syria2020/Johnny Shahan
Najwa, 10, received new winter clothes, distributed by UNICEF in Hammourieh, rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and DFID. “I am excited to go to school in new clothes and shoes,” says Ghina who usually walks long stretches in muddy streets wearing the only pair of slippers she owns.

To help ease the financial burden on families and bring some warmth to children in rural Damascus, UNICEF is distributing over 32,000 clothing kits to children aged 0-14, including 5,000 to children in Hammourieh, thanks to a generous contribution from Canada and the Department for International Development (DFID). Each clothing kit contains a thermal outfit, a winter jacket, woolen hat, scarf and gloves, as well as winter shoes.