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What Charity Is Best for Syrian Children?

The Prophet said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together.

The Prophet said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together.

When giving Syrian children charity, it’s best to focus on what they truly need in their lives. Some need nourishing food, a place to live, health care, education, or health care. 

A program that encompasses all of that and more: orphan sponsorship. And there’s a popularly quoted hadith about supporting orphans.

Orphan sponsorship is powerful

The Prophet said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together.

Specifically when it comes to giving Syrian children charity, Zakat Foundation of America offers a comprehensive program through its Muhammad Ali Safe House in Gaziantep, Turkey, that houses more than 40 families (more than 200 individuals) with orphaned children.

Each family — which typically includes a widow mother and at least one child who lost his or her father — receives special accommodation. 

Each family also gets a fully furnished unit and educational support. They all get Turkish-language education, as they must adapt to Gaziantep and be able to speak a language that is new to them. Zakat Foundation of America covers expenses to ensure the families can assimilate while remaining with others from their homeland.

The Muhammad Ali Safe House also includes a Vocational Training Center (VTC) where the widowed mothers enroll in courses to learn sewing, knitting and related in-demand skill sets. This helps them find jobs at local businesses in Gaziantep.

The Safe House also includes other multi-purpose rooms, including a health clinic where beneficiaries will receive medical and dental treatment from a team of Syrian and Turkish doctors.

A Zakat Foundation of America representative guides students through classwork at the foundation’s Sigharuna Kibaruna clinic in Turkey. | Zakat Foundation of America photo

Different types of support

And beyond the Muhammad Ali Safe House, Zakat Foundation of America opened the Sigharuna Kibaruna (which translates to “Our Little Ones Are Our Venerable Ones”) clinic in Turkey. Its patients and students receive expert help in cognitive training, speech therapy, and auditory and visual processing.

It is vital that those Syrian refugee children who face developmental challenges have the resources and special education that can help them grow into flourishing adults. 

“I was incredibly pleased to see that behavioral health was a key component of treatment at the clinics,” Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi, Khalil Center’s founding director and a practicing psychologist, said shortly after Sigharuna Kibaruna opened.

Years after these facilities opened, they are still running and caring for refugee children who continue to face war’s devastating effects.

The refugee crisis is ongoing, and it’s important to remember that giving Syrian children charity — and widows, and young adults who want to complete their higher education — that support must be long-term. Refugee resilience is powerful.

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