A Volunteer and Role Model: A Displaced Mother Supports Others in Northeast Syrian Camp

Amina* lives with her two daughters and son in a displacement camp in northeast Syria, far from the village in Egypt where she is from. Blumont manages the camp, which houses thousands of similar families, and Amina stands out for her commitment to engaging and creating community.

Amina is known for her empathy and leadership around the camp. She supports her family and makes a tireless effort to lift up those around her. As a mother of three, one of whom has autism, she seeks ways to provide the best care for her family. This interest inspired her to want to help others as well, so she asked our team about opportunities to volunteer.

Typically, volunteers dedicate 1-3 hours per day to their work. There are a range of activities to support, including helping with awareness sessions, setting up art and library exhibitions, mentoring others in sewing and tailoring, sewing clothes for seniors, forming sports clubs, and more. In just two of the region’s displacement camps, there are more than 70 residents volunteering to help their neighbors.

At first, Amina chose to advocate for child protection and safety. She worked alongside Blumont’s protection team to invite mothers to sessions on topics of interest, including children’s health. She also acted as a liaison between the community and our team, letting us know if she was concerned about a child’s safety or alerting us to unsafe situations that could be resolved with our support.

As she participated in different efforts, Amina saw new opportunities. “While this role was fulfilling, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more I could do to make a difference,” she said.

Amina has become an active contributor to our programming for youth. She spearheaded a project to support individuals with special needs and has helped make programs more inclusive. She made a list of all young people with disabilities in her area so our team could reach out to them to join Blumont activities. Then, she organized three groups of young women and invited them to start coming to sessions, too.

One of Amina’s most impactful initiatives was the “Help People with Disabilities” project. She was inspired to start the project after meeting a woman in the camp who faces mobility challenges due to an amputation. It can be hard for people with disabilities to carry food and essential items across the camp, so Amina rallied support to provide them with carts. “Having seen her difficulties, I decided to work to help her with all my effort and persistence,” said Amina.

blue carts

Amina advocated to supply carts to people with disabilities living in the camp. She hoped to make it easier for them to access services and transport food and essential items back to their tents.

Amina’s efforts not only helped transform the lives of youth and women, but have strengthened bonds within the community. She has motivated others to participate in initiatives, bringing people together to collaborate and form friendships.

“I will never forget the tears of gratitude from the beneficiaries of our initiatives,” Amina said. “Seeing the positive impact of our work reinforces our commitment to serving the community and driving meaningful change.”

Through her volunteer work, Amina has gained valuable insights and skills, which she eagerly shares with other women in the camp. Her leadership, courage, and passion have made her a role model.

women doing crafts around a table

There is a wide range of Blumont-led activities in the displacement camps for people of all ages. This includes, but is not limited to, library sessions, arts and crafts, sewing, and emotional support groups.

Amina is inspiring change in her home as well. She mentors her daughters using the conflict resolution and leadership skills she has built and encourages them to participate in youth activities. Now, she’s seeing positive changes in them. Amina feels that she and her daughters now have better relationships with each other than ever before.

*Name changed for privacy and security purposes.