Children's safety and supplies top priority 27/07/2006
"Why did the war break out? We were living happily, I just don't know why people hate each other so much", asks four-year-old Jasmin. 15 children and four SOS mothers of SOS Children's Village Ksarnaba have been living together in one house since fighting broke out. They feel much safer this way.
Five children and two SOS mothers who were spending their holidays with relatives have not been able to return to the SOS Children's Village yet. Two are in Beirut and cannot return to Ksarnaba at the moment given the unsafe situation; three cannot be reached via phone. The village director was also on holiday during the outbreak of war; his return via Syria is turning out to be a difficult journey, and they are expecting him to arrive on the weekend in Ksarnaba. Another 15 children (whose admission to the SOS Children's Village was scheduled to take place at an earlier stage) are also expected to arrive at the village by then. Evacuation plans and options will be looked into again upon the return of village director Dirani and the arrival of all children and SOS mothers to make sure that such an effort is necessary and a safe retreat from the area is possible.
The SOS Youth Facility in Abra, about 12 km from SOS Children's Village Sferai, is currently unoccupied; the youths are staying with relatives, and this situation is not going to change for the moment. The youth community Sin El Fil in Beirut will remain closed. The youth leaders and youths from two other youth facilities in Beirut are currently staying at the facility in Jiita in the capital city; five young women (who grew up at the SOS Children's Village) with their children are with them.
Some relatives of SOS mothers have found refuge at the SOS Children's Village in Bhersaf located right next to the town of Bikfaya in the Mont-Liban region east of Beirut. Three-year-old Ali and his family had to leave their house during the night, accompanied by the sound of falling bombs. "It is such an eerie sound. Now I know what if feels like to hate someone."
Then she adds: "But, as Jean D'Arc put it…I am confident that the SOS Children's Village family is well-protected."