Yeva’s Holiday Wish: A Safe Place to Begin Again

By, Annakarina Rincon

“My one holiday wish is to have a safe for my family to rest and heal from trauma.” - Yeva*, Armenia

Like many other refugees, Yeva has experienced an array of traumatizing events in her short life. At 15, she fled Syria, her country of birth, with her remaining family members; her mother was killed in Syria, along with her 10-year-old brother, as a result of the enduring violence there. Yeva, her father, and her aunt managed to make the 700-mile trek to Armenia in search of safety, but their journey has not yet ended: Yeva and her family still need help to overcome their traumatic past and begin again.

Yeva’s story is not unlike those of other refugees. There are currently more than 17,000 refugees seeking peace in Armenia. These refugees mostly hail from Syria and Iraq, where war and violence have taken over civilians’ daily lives. Many descendants of Armenians who fled to Syria in 1915, like Yeva, are now finding themselves in situations similar to that of their ancestors one hundred years later - only this time, they are fleeing back to Armenia. This unfortunate situation has displaced thousands of refugees and left many of them stateless and desperate for stability. Organizations like Global Hope Network International (GHNI) and the United Nations Refugee Agency have been attempting to help in the best way they can, and although citizenship, along with other positive assistance, has been given to more than 15,000 refugees, there is still much to be done.

GHNI has been working with the House of Esther** in Armenia.  The House of Esther is dedicated to refugees like Yeva and her family who have arrived in Armenia looking for peace from conflict in their countries. Field leaders in this relatively new project wish to provide development training to refugees to help kickstart their journey to a better life, as well as vital self-improvement through counseling. Vince, a GHNI Volunteer Project Manager, has recently given us an update on the improvement of the House of Esther refugee center:

“We were able to finish four bedrooms, five bathrooms, the living room, and a complete renovation of the kitchen,” he says, “... now our focus is on raising funds for the needed furniture, beds, mattresses, and kitchen equipment.”

With safe and adequately equipped dormitories, the House of Esther in Armenia would be able to provide much-needed counseling and training for traumatized refugees. Nothing would make young Yeva and her family more happy than to be able to finally start a new life after so much violence and instability. Will you bring hope to Yeva by becoming a partner and donating to the House of Esther?

 

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* “Yeva” is representative of refugees in Armenia.

** For purposes of security and well-being, "House of Esther" is a pseudonym of the project.