Zahida fled four years ago from Syria to Lebanon, where she still lives with her sons, Hasan and Hussein. At the end of the day, this is the last form of emotional support these people have — their families. Many of them are stateless.
Driven To Love S01 E01
The refugee crisis is a global crisis, but it is foremost a human crisis. Nearly 65 million people are displaced around the world, more than at any other point in human history. Around the world, 24 people are displaced every minute, in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Colombia.
To get a sense of the magnitude of this crisis, think of it this way: If every displaced person and refugee lived together in a single country, it would be more populous than the United Kingdom. After the attack, Walaa and her husband made a plan: He would sell their car and leave on foot to seek asylum in Germany, where he would find work and a place to live. She would stay behind to care for their children and join him there as soon as possible. Six months later, Walaa and her children — 4-year-old Sami, 3-year-old Fatima and 2-year-old Salma — left, too.
They walked the desert for two days to Turkey's border, where smugglers took them across the country and across the Aegean Sea. Today they are living in a converted hotel for vulnerable refugees on the island of Lesbos, waiting to hear whether they will be granted asylum so the family can reunite in Germany. We are trapped in the middle, far from our family and far from my husband. The kids are away from everyone they know: their uncles, aunts and friends, and far away from their father.
In a life of unknowns, cash has given Walaa a feeling of freedom: the ability to choose how to provide for the things her kids need most.
A Mercy Corps team member helps Walaa and her three children withdraw cash from an ATM using a debit card we provided. While many refugees are in camps, most of them are not. In host communities, we are building playgrounds and youth centers, training workers to reduce conflict, and supporting small businesses to lift up local economies. Mercy Corps sees a future for every one of those 65 million displaced people.
We see a day when men and women like Walaa can build stable and productive lives for their families. Until then, we have an opportunity to provide the immediate help they need to care for those they love most. This photo was taken in a displacement camp around Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Our mobile unit is set up to deliver food, water, wifi and power to refugees walking through Greece.
Here, a Mercy Corps team member helps Noorkhan, 22, of Afghanistan set up Facebook messenger so he can communicate with his family. Fatima still cries at the sound of an airplane. Her children will carry these scars for years.
Driven by Love - Family, adventure, motherhood
Walaa tends to them by focusing on their individual needs. Now she can afford healthy food for Salma, who must eat a special diet.
She can buy Sami a clean shirt to wear on the playground. And she can be there for Fatima. Two years after the attack, Fatima cannot speak, hear or walk. Season 1 Sneak Peek — Ray J serves as driver and expert wingman.
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