Meet Abdul and Noor. Last night and the night before, they slept on the ground near the Serbian border with Hungary. Our staff met them yesterday and for a moment were able to bring smiles to their faces.
See the current situation for these Syrian refugees, what their journey has been like, and what their future might hold.
The family sat on a mat in the shade of trees in a paved area near the border between Serbia and Hungary. They had slept on the ground near the border the night before. Teasadi, the mother, says “sleep” and pantomimes sleeping with her hands folded under her tilted head, then pats the ground.
Now she doesn’t know when they’ll move along and what their chances are for crossing the border into Hungary. Last night, while they were sleeping, the border closed. Now the refugees have been told to move from one border crossing to another while they wait to see whether they will be allowed to enter Hungary.
Teasadi was a teacher in Daraa, Syria before she and her husband decided to sell everything and take their family away from the war. As a helicopter buzzes overhead, patrolling the border from the Hungarian side, she points to it and says, “In Syria, helicopter” … then makes hand motions to show bombs falling. “Children—mort,” she says. “Dead.”
“Sad, so sad.” It sums up the losses she’s known, along with everything around her: her family’s perilous situation, the masses of anxious people around them, and the fact that there’s no place to go back home to.
What draws them forward is the hope of another life, in Germany or Sweden maybe. But that life seems distant and unreal. World Vision is there beside them, delivering life's essentials to help ease their exhaustion and fear.
The children—so full of life—seem to be taking everything in stride. They use rocks and broken chunks of paving to crack walnuts they’ve gathered. They make a lively game of it, stomping the nuts, and putting the shelled ones in a plastic bag to carry with them. Noor, Teasadi's 6-year-old daughter, hands them around to World Vision staff and tries to give them packs of cookies from one of the family’s bags.
Teasadi and her husband, Ali, watch as Noor and Abdul drag over two small tents—already erected—where the six family members will bed down for another night. Abdul zips open a tent and carefully removes his tennis shoes before stepping in.
Ali keeps a protective eye on the youngsters as he exchanges information with other refugees.
Teasadi turns her head and coughs quietly. She’s had the cough for a while, likely aggravated by heat and exposure. She packs water bottles and bananas that the World Vision staff gave her in a few small bags arranged around her on the ground. She mentally weighed every item carefully—there’s no room for any extras.
All along the refugees’ route are many discarded items they couldn’t justify carrying—torn jackets, shoes, empty water bottles. To help refresh supplies, World Vision staff at the border are constantly asking, “What do you need?”
Though not on any of the distribution lists, there is one extra item that brought delight to the children and smiles to their parents’ faces: a bottle of bubble soap and a wand. World Vision communicator Aida Sunje handed the bubbles out to the first children she saw today—Noor and Abdul.
For a brief moment, war, helicopters, and tomorrow’s challenges were forgotten as Noor blew shining bubbles and everyone watched them rise on a gentle breeze.
Our staff in Serbia are busy distributing much-needed relief supplies to Syrian refugees along the Serbian border with Hungary, where they've arrived with almost nothing after a long journey. Join us in helping to provide for the basic needs of refugees.