Zeina's Story

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Life as a refugee from Syria living in Qasmieh Gathering in south Lebanon

After fleeing the besieged camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria in early December 2013, nine-year-old Zeina with her mother, father and four sisters found shelter in Qasmieh Gathering near Tyre in south Lebanon.

Zeina’s father found an abandoned building in Qasmieh for the family to take refuge in. The building was in very poor condition with no windows or doors. The roof was old and damaged and it leaked badly when it rained. There was no hot water or electricity and many gaps and holes throughout the building allowed insects and the cold in.

Like many Palestinian refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon, Zeina and her family have had to live in sub-standard conditions. Through one of our emergency relief programmes, we were able to install new doors and windows, repair the roof and install lighting. The walls were cemented and painted. A tap and a water heater were installed and the family were connected to a source of clean water. A basic toilet facility was also installed in the bathroom. These basic rehabilitation works to improve the family’s health, sanitation and safety standards were carried out in a week in order to enable the family to settle in as soon as possible.

After the rehabilitation works were complete Zeina expressed how happy she was to be able to take a shower again. She said that she had woken up first at 4am so she could take her first shower in almost a month!