Volume 16, No. 3
Summer 2013
Helping Families Find
Respite From Syria's Turmoil
Nicolas, 3, clings tightly to his mother and never leaves her side. He's haunted by frightening images of the violence that forced the family to flee their home in the Homs region. IOCC helped them settle away from the fighting, but the parents worry about their young son's ability to feel safe again after everything he has witnessed in his young life. (Photo credit: Rasha Kaba/IOCC)
Nicolas, 3, has witnessed unspeakable violence and bloodshed in his short life. He and his family narrowly escaped with their lives when bombing in Al Qusayr destroyed their home and everything in it. Miraculously, their car remained untouched. They quickly drove away from their home and the only life they knew. On the harrowing journey across Syria to safety, the family encountered armed men, dead bodies and constant gunfire and explosions. "We were terrified," said Nicolas' father, Yosef. "We couldn't save anything from the house, even our identity cards. We had nothing to prove who we were. That alone would have been reason enough to get us all killed."

Nicolas, his parents and grandmother sought refuge inside Syria from IOCC relief partner, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (GOPA). They were offered housing and IOCC, an ACT Alliance member, provided blankets, carpets and a stove to keep their small, bare apartment comfortable. Nicolas and his family are among the hundreds of thousands affected and internally displaced Syrians that IOCC has reached with emergency relief items, housing and educational assistance, and trauma counseling. Since 2012, IOCC has assisted more than 800,000 Syrian people displaced in their own country or living as refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Armenia.

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In This Issue

IOCC Provides Medical Lifeline For Greeks

From The Executive Director

Entrepreneurs Fuel Economic Progress In Bosnia And Herzegovina

Helping Families Find Respite From Syria's Turmoil

New Books Keep Learning Alive For U.S. Schoolchildren

True Victory: Of The Flesh Or Of The Spirit?

Parish Reps Make A Difference!

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