New hope for refugees as fund breaks record
THEIR PLIGHT moved British Jews to donate hundreds of thousands of pounds — and now Syrian refugee children have explained their joy at receiving the resulting aid.
More than £626,700 has been raised through World Jewish Relief’s crisis effort, the second highest total for an appeal in the charity’s history.
The children, who have escaped the conflict and reached Turkey, have been handed warm winter clothing, books and school equipment.
Khalil, originally from Aleppo, received back-to-school and winter survival kits provided by WJR.
“Maybe I cannot play with my friends and toys again but I willkeepmyhopes with me in this bag,” the 11-yearold said.
S p e a k i n g about his journey to Turkey, Khalil said: “We walked for days on end without taking any of our belongings to escape from the war.
“My friends, my toys and my hopes remain in Aleppo. This city in Turkey is a new start for my family.”
Aisha, 10, also escaped to Turkey. She said: “My family and my other brothers are in Syria. Here, it’s only me and my younger brother. My brother is eight years old.
“I dream of returning to our country, seeing my family and little brother. I haven’t seen them for three years.”
Aisha received one of 3,000 winter kits, which include two pairs of trousers, thermal leggings, socks, winter boots, and a sleeping bag.
WJR senior project manager Josh Simons said: “If kids are in school it is the best way to recover from trauma. It is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, and it is the best way to be sure that when the conflict is eventually resolved there is a generation of children who are well-educated and can go back and build the country.”
Mr Simons said the initial aid packages would be followed by more in the weeks to come.
Meanwhile a British schoolgirl has raised more than £1,150 to support the WJR appeal.
Kayla Sussman, a Year 5 pupil at Akiva School in north London, raised the money through a sponsored silence. After staying silent for more than 24 hours, Kayla said: “I did my sponsored silence from bedtime on Friday until I woke up on Sunday morning.
“It was really hard because there was so much I wanted to say.”
WJR’s Samantha Martin said the charity was “proud of what Kayla has done” to help Syrian children.
Khalil and Aisha