They had studied engineering but had never previously built anything. When the idea for the polytunnel came along, they got out their textbooks and set about building an amazing construction. Sadly, it was dismantled (re-homed) when the village was evacuated. Plans for a smaller one are in hand.
In addition to the polytunnel, the engineers rigged up a system for distributing water throughout the camp, in particular for the vulnerable old people, who could not manage the bucket-from-the-well method. The lads installed the two water pumps we bought, which led through pipes to storage camps, then more pipes which led around the camp.
A brother and sister, six and seven years old, were living in the camp. Everyday the two children have one plate of food each. However they must also look after the kittens. It’s an obligation they have taken on themselves. When asked why they do it they say “The kittens are refugees”
The boy who collected pigeon eggs
A boy from the village collects pigeon eggs. He gives one egg to each refugee child. Cooking oil is scarce, the eggs are boiled. There were 2,859 children under 10 in the camp. The boy who does the egg round is twelve. His has a great sense of humour and is greatly loved.
The boy from Homs
We don’t know how the boy travelled to the village from Homs. He looks about 10, always by himself and very lost. He stayed in the family house over the winter, together with 61 other people. Where is he now?
The young Christian mother
As far as we know, she was the only Christian staying in the old town, with the help of the village. She was renting a place but it does look extremely basic. If houses were available, and the IDP’s had enough money, they often preferred this type of camping to camping in a shelter, in a field.
Message from the Council of Elders
There are now 80 people over 60 years & 139 under 15 years of age in the village. These old people make decisions together, they are wise and calm.
This is their message:
“Don’t care about us, we’ve almost completed our lives – just a little bit left – we are not important. Look after your future, the babies & the children.”