Families Serving Refugees

House of Esther, Armenia

Back in early July, two volunteers and my family arrived with me at the House of Esther. We worked long hours with the contractor and local workers to finish the center as much as possible. The 2nd of August was our day introducing the House of Esther to the refugee families, locals, and different humanitarian organizations.

After meeting and interviewing a few refugee families, the reality is that these Syrian refugees were part of the productive middle class - people who lived in decent homes with good living conditions. They have lost everything, barely saving themselves and their family.

Before these families arrived in early August, we renovated four bedrooms with bathrooms, the living room, dining area, and completed the remodelling of the kitchen. This kitchen will offer the women and families a clean cooking environment.

Mr. Shant, our local House of Esther supervisor, has lived in Syria for the last five years. He coordinates the ongoing work and meets with refugee families to present the House of Esther and our objectives.

When I met one family, the father explained that they had lost three homes in the last two years. They were chased away from their house in Aleppo by rebels and looters, so they moved to their village home. After a few months, they were attacked by a violent group, and escaped to Armenia after the shelling of their last residence. George and his wife [P1] are shocked and sad for what happened to Aleppo and its residents, but they are thankful for escaping death. They feel very safe in Armenia.

Salpi was responsible for food preparation in a hotel in Aleppo. She said she cries and prays every evening before going to sleep, asking God, “Why all this suffering? What have we done wrong to deserve this?!” She escaped to Armenia with her 18-year-old son.

These families are willing to move to the House of Esther once the center is furnished and prepared to be a functional living space. They are looking forward to working and preparing Middle Eastern food for tourists and visitors, because House of Esther has the potential to serve as a restaurant and also a bed and breakfast.

Provided the funds arrive, the House of Esther may host a few families before the winter season begins in October. Thank you for your support and cooperation to help us accomplish our objectives at the House of Esther. We will soon be ready to help and shelter a few needy refugee families.

Sincerely,

Vince

GHNI Volunteer Project Manager

[P1]Salpi is not George’s wife. I took out her name. If you look at the photo, Salpi is the 3rd woman, next to Vince.