SOS Children in Syria

Sponsorship sites in Syria

Syria is one of the Middle East states, on the shores of the Mediterranean between Turkey and Lebanon. Once the intellectual and political centre of the Muslim world - Damascus was the home of the caliph - it has always been a meeting place of different cultures.

One of the poorer Arab countries, industrial productivity is low and the dominant agricultural sector remains underdeveloped, with 80 per cent of agricultural land dependent on rain-fed sources. Oil production is levelling off, creating further unemployment. The general political instability in the region is a further source of tension and unrest.

The charity began working in Syria in 1981 when the first community was built in Qodsaya, 8 km from the capital Damascus. On the side of a hill on the road towards Lebanon, the village has eleven family houses which are home to 108 children. Despite the arid and rocky conditions, trees, vines and shrubs have been planted to provide protection against the wind and sand, and flowers and even lawns have also been successfully established.

In 1992 plans were made for a second village and a nursery in Khan El Assal, near Aleppo, Syria's second largest city in the North of the country. SOS Children's Village Aleppo opened in 1998 with twelve family houses. As is the case at all SOS nurseries, children from both the local community and the SOS village receive schooling here. Primary and secondary schools for the older children are available in Khan El Assal.

For older children and young people finishing their education or vocational training, SOS Youth Homes have been provided for girls in Darya, a suburb of Damascus and for boys in Sahnaya, a small town 25 km south of the city. Here, young people who have grown up in the SOS Children's Villages can take their first guided steps towards an independent life.

In 1996, an SOS Social Centre was established in Darayya, a suburb of Damascus with a community outreach programme providing meals for single mothers and their children and vocational training for women and young people to help them find employment.

Local contacts

Boys at SOS Children's Village Khan El Assal, Syria

SOS Children in Syria Syrian Arab Association for SOS Children's Villages
Daraya, Al-Thawra Street / Bakri Bacha Bldg, 2nd Floor
Postal address: PO Box 5567
Damascus / Syria
Tel +963/11 621 3550 or +963/11 621 3551

Syria Child Sponsorship

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