When war broke out in Syria, families who’d lived in stability and comfort had their lives turned upside down. Fleeing for safety to neighbouring Lebanon has not resulted in much relief for refugee families. Crisis after crisis over the last decade has pushed vulnerable families like Moza’s further toward the margins.

At Baptist World Aid Australia, we’re grateful for the support of DFAT’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Partnership with ANCP has helped our Christian partner in Lebanon support families like Moza’s in practical, life-giving ways.

The fabric of hope: Moza’s Story

I am from Raqaa, Syria, and I have two boys and four girls.

Before the war, we had a big house and our situation was very good. When the war started, our house was destroyed and one of my sons disappeared. We never saw him again. After four years we received news that he had passed away.

After moving several times within Syria, we finally came to Lebanon at the end of 2016. Things were extremely difficult at first. We stayed in the house of my husband’s brother for a few days until I found a one-room house for me and all my children. Since my son passed away, and because my husband had a stroke, I was left without any support.

Some days we could not even buy any food. My sister-in-law told me about a [Christian partner’s] group, so I went and people there started helping me with food vouchers. I was also able to enrol my daughter in the education centre for literacy and computer classes

Although the neighbourhood can be dangerous for girls, I know she is safe in the centre, and in good hands.

The teachers take very good care of her and treat her like their own daughter. And they treat me like a friend and a sister. If I need anything, I talk to them, and they help me immediately.

Without them, I don’t know what would have happened to me.

The biggest help was to be enrolled in the sewing training. I did not know anything about sewing before. I did not even know how to thread a needle. After the initial learning phase, we received several big orders (from Baptist World Aid’s Christian partner) for thousands of winter blankets that were going to be distributed to vulnerable families in Lebanon.

We were so excited! We used to come at seven in the morning and stay late in the evening. If it wasn’t for the electricity being cut off at night, we would have kept working and working! With the money I earned from the winter blankets sewing, I was able to pay off all the debts I had accumulated since the death of my son.

But then came the financial crisis, and COVID-19 on top of it. It affected us all on an individual level, financially and emotionally. I am not afraid for myself, but for my family. Because I lost my son already, the idea of losing someone else due to this disease scares me.

I am very protective of my children, trying to keep them at home and making sure they clean well. The partner group has helped me do that by giving us soap, hand sanitizer, and tissues. But at the end of the day, we are still seven people in a tiny home.

Before we were doing relatively fine, and managed to pay for our daily necessities, but now with the increase in prices we are not anymore. We haven’t paid our rent for the past three months, and I am afraid our landlord will kick us out soon.

Because of these crises, I am now the only one earning money for the household. This is why the mask sewing project is helping us so much! For starters, I am earning more money through it, which is much needed right now. But we are also aware that these masks will be distributed to families in need and help protect them from COVID and prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

This makes us feel very thankful and proud. I am just praying that COVID goes away. When it does, hopefully things will be better and will go back to normal for me, my children, and all the ladies in the sewing group.

As our Christian partners support the most vulnerable, the impact of a gift to the Matching Grant Appeal BEFORE 30 June will have greater impact because it’s combined with Australian Government funds!