By Nicky Jansen
Nizip, Turkey, January 2014 – Eight-year old Norah is part of a very big family. She and her eleven siblings live in a small house in Nizip, where they have been accepted into a host community. The children brought a keepsake with them when they fled Syria; a photograph of lost family members: a brother who died at age four in a bombing, and an uncle who is still missing.
The children spend their days in their small but safe home, learning from the schoolbooks they also brought with them from Syria. “I love to write”, says Norah timidly. “I also like to read. But I don’t have any plans for my future here in Turkey. I just want to go back to Syria, because my grandparents are still there. I miss them so much.” Norah is one of four children in the family who goes to school. The other children need to work to support the family. They take every job they can find.
In Turkey, Syrian refugees are struggling to keep their heads above water. The cost of renting a room has doubled in the past three years and jobs are scarce. These families have lost everything, and they need everything. But, no matter how difficult the circumstances, Norah’s family, along with other Syrian families, have one thing in common: they are happy to be safe.
UNICEF is supporting refugee families in Nizip by providing schools supplies and training for teachers.