A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Reema is a 12-year old girl who had to flee her country, Syria, with her parents and siblings. They found refuge in Lebanon. That was a year ago.
Reema was a bright student and loved studying, but she hasn't been able to go to school since she left her country. She still enjoys writing and drawing, to tell her tragic story. Here below is one of her texts, in which she remembers her "last day at home" in Syria.
"I remember my last day at home. I was walking home back from school, my heart filled with fear from the deafening sound of bombs blasting. I was running fast on an endless road. I was running back home, seeking with my siblings protection in my mother's arms. Finally, I was there. The bombings stopped for a while.
Mom served lunch. I ate, drank a glass of water, then went into my room with my notebook and pen. I wanted to do my homework. I took my pen. It almost slipped out of my hand for my fingers were trembling with fear. All of a sudden, the bombings resumed. My pen dropped. I grasped it firmly. The sound of missiles was unbearable. Then, I dropped both my pen and notebook. I hid under the table. I thought it might protect me.
"I left my schoolbag, my notebook, my pencils"
As soon as I raised my head, I heard people screaming, people crying here and there. I opened the door to my room, ran to my mom, almost paralyzed with fear, screaming with all my strength: 'Mom! Mom!'
Mom, Dad and all my siblings gathered around me. We were crying and screaming. We all ran out to the street, fearful, not knowing where to go.
I left home. I left my schoolbag, my notebook, my pencils. I didn't finish my homework. I ran as fast as I could, screaming to my siblings: "Hurry! Let's go!" with tears in my eyes, and memories of my house and my room in my heart.
Little by little, home was fading away, as well as the pomegranate and lemon trees, and the jasmine bush in my garden. Our neighbor's house, my grandfather's house, my friends' house all faded away.
God, what happened to my country? Since that day, my exile started…"
How you can help
Please donate now to support Oxfam's Syria crisis response and help Syrian families in need
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