The Push and Pull Factors

Damascus is now home to 5 million people, from its pre-war population of 2 million, resources are becoming scarce in the capital. There is heavy military presence with tanks on the streets and stray missiles are an ever present potential threat. Even the middle class can no longer afford to buy clothes and many men are out of work or called up for military service.

Fathers serving in the army can be away for weeks at a time and the family they leave behind are constantly checking the local news for reports. They struggle to feed themselves as the army wages are barely enough to provide daily bread.

Many families dream to leave the country and flee the conflict even if it means risking everything, even their very lives. Young men have sold everything they own to pay smugglers to take them into Europe through illegal routes. Many of these men are fleeing from military service. Even leaving behind a desperate wife and children with no salary or job to depend on. They leave with just a backpack and their hope for a better future.

“Our brother Hassan is a good English teacher, he had only 15 days until he was due to join the army when he decided to leave.” Shares Samir, a local partner. “Very painful moments of saying good bye to his family who feel they have lost their brother as well as a fellow companion in taking care of the community and children left behind.”

If this situation continues, they fear that all young men aged 20-35 will take their chance and soon be out of the country. There is much to sacrifice and risk in making the journey to leave Syria but as the situation on the ground deteriorates it becomes a risk that many are willing to take.

GAiN continues to support the work of these local organisations to provide basic food and education.
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*Names have been changed for security reasons