A Wish Come True
The 4th of October marks the first day of "Eid el Adha", a national holiday in Lebanon which is also celebrated by millions of Muslims across the world. In the spirit of this holiday, earlier this week CARE International in Lebanon distributed clothes to children and young refugees in the Chouf district of Mount Lebanon.
While I was standing at CARE's distribution site and looked at all the children and their parents I thought about how important this distribution must be for all of them. I remembered how overwhelmed I was earlier this year, in May, when we distributed clothes with funds we were able to raise during the “Dead to Red marathon” in Jordan. Parents were very thankful for the clothes for their children. Most of the refugees had to leave Syria with just the clothes they were wearing when they had to flee their homes and cannot afford to buy new ones. Refugee mothers had approached me in the past weeks and asked me whether CARE would be able to do another clothes distribution – this time for the upcoming Eid holiday, where it is part of the celebration to provide children with new clothes.
At that point CARE had not planned anything. But a few days ago the mothers’ wishes came true. During the classical music concert "When music rhymes with solidarity" organized by CARE Fance at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, private donations were raised by generous contributions from the concert-goers. With that money, CARE in Lebanon has been able to distribute clothes to more than 410 very needy refugee children. Each child received a $30 voucher which they could use to buy clothes, shoes, school material and toys in six local stores.
"Two days ago my son asked me what I would buy him for Eid. I had to tell him that we cannot afford to buy Eid clothes this year,” said Halaa, a young mother, during the distribution. The next day I received a text message inviting me to CARE's Eid clothes distribution. There are no words to express the joy that filled my heart when I realized that I would be able to buy my son new clothes. Today, I feel that there is always hope that something positive will happen. We just have to be patient and never lose hope!. "
For this week’s distribution event, CARE set up two play houses with balloons and invited scouts to arrange games and face painting for children. This way they could play and have fun while their parents were shopping new clothes for them. The children were really happy. They ran around and played, jumped, laughed and finally felt like “normal”children again having experienced, in fleeing their homes in Syria, what no child should ever have to go through.
Dima, whose family also received vouchers, told us about how happy she too is: "CARE has fulfilled us a big wish. We were already preparing ourselves for not celebrating Eid, our biggest holiday, at all. Thanks to CARE we can finally feel joy again and look forward to the coming festival period. Both my daughter and my grandchildren bought themselves nice clothes. Look at how happy they are!. I could not have wished for more".
I agree with Dima. I could not have wished for more myself. Now, I am looking forward to Eid even more. My colleagues made a lot of children and parents very happy. I really want to thank them for all their hard work and contribution.
Written by Racha El Daoi, Communications and Information Management Senior Assistant