Looking after 7 orphaned Syrian grandchildren
Um Mohamed, 63, has been living with her seven orphaned grandchildren in a camp in Mount Lebanon since 2013.
Before the conflict, Um Mohamed lived in safety in Syria. But then violence broke out and her husband was kidnapped. She still does not know what happened to him.
When a bomb exploded near their home in Aleppo, her two sons went to help get people out of the damaged building. A second explosion killed one of her sons and severely injured the other. Her pregnant daughter was also killed by a bomb. Um Mohamed gathered her five grandsons, now orphaned, and brought them to Lebanon.
When they arrived in the country, Um Mohamed rented a house and started selling tissues in the street to earn money for rent and food. The little she earned was not enough to make ends meet, so after a few months she was forced to take her family to the camp. They have lived there ever since.
After a while, Um Mohamed was informed one of her other sons had been killed in Syria. She immediately travelled back to Syria to bring her other two grandchildren to safety in Lebanon. However, on return to Syria, she was arrested for 16 days. Once freed, she returned to Lebanon with her two grandchildren.
With Um Mohamed unable to work to provide for her family, she relies on support from Islamic Relief. She receives food and other items, and she also has a regular allowance for one of her grandsons through our orphan sponsorship scheme. Islamic Relief have also been able to move Um Mohamed and her family from temporary shelter into a house in the Bekaa area.
Um Mohamed’s wish is to see her grandsons and one granddaughter go back to school. She said: “God has given me the strength to support my grandsons, and I will be happy if I could help other orphans wherever they are.”