Maryam is a farmer. Her whole family is comprised of farmers. For years they lived, worked, and ate from their own land in Syria.
But when war came, Maryam and her family fled. She and her children went village to village, searching for a safe place. They lived through missiles and years of harrowing uncertainty, unsure where they would be safe, where they could rebuild a life of peace.
Maryam is now 70 years old. Nine years ago, she lost her husband. She and her children scraped together enough to live by working part-time on other farms. But it wasn’t enough. They yearned for their own land again.
So when Maryam heard about our work restart farms in war-torn Syria, she came to find us. And when you showed up to start farms for 150 families, Maryam and her children were among them.
Now, Maryam and her children have their own fields to plow. They have seeds, fertilizer, farming tools, and access to irrigation.
COVID-19 hasn’t reached this part of Syria yet, but we’re taking precautions to protect our farming friends. We’re encouraging them to practice social distancing in the fields and wash hands as frequently as possible.
Maryam and her family would easily be considered “essential workers” in Syria. Despite the pandemic, they are able to keep farming, keep working, keep earning—while minimizing contact with their neighbors.
It’s a sustainable income, allowing them to continue providing for their children in a time of global uncertainty.
After years of hardship, Maryam can finally rest. “This project,” she said, “has brought light back into the darkness we lived in, and hope has returned to our lives.”