Since the beginning of conflict in Syria more than 20,000 persons have, at some stage, sought protection in Armenia. As of June 30, 2016, 14,633 Syrians displaced due to conflict have been hosted in this country. Starting from 2014, about 600 of them have already benefited from KASA foundation through their “Adopt a family” volunteer project supported by UNHCR Armenia office.
Volunteering for KASA, especially for displaced people, has a dual advantage: KASA cares for volunteers’ learning (3 days of intensive training) and volunteers care for refugees’ wellbeing through a 3-month program for every new-coming family. Approximately 135 volunteers (one volunteer per family) have been involved in the project, which started 3 years ago.
The volunteers work 2 hours per week with the chosen Syrian family. The covered issues range from orientation in health infrastructure and insurance to job-hunting, child-care, education, pensions, etc. They help Syrian people solve passport issues, enroll their children in schools and kindergartens, overcome bureaucratic difficulties, and get registered in policlinics to enjoy free medical care.
Several former refugees, who faced the same problems with integration, have become volunteers. Among them, is a volunteer who “adopted” a Syrian family he had known during the time when he was a refugee as neighbors.
Sometimes volunteers do more than they are supposed to — on the Christmas Eve the volunteer who visited the Surenians family from Syria encouraged them to write a letter with Christmas wishes (they were dreaming of a washing machine. They then dropped it into a mailbox at the nearby supermarket and their dream came true!
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