Faten, a single mother of three, embraces her children at their home in Beirut, Lebanon. “I was away from home, away from my children. My first and only thought was that my children must have been killed,” says Faten, who works in shifts as a cleaner across the city.
“I ran home as fast as I could. I felt my feet moving, but it was as if I was going nowhere. When I finally got home and saw my children were unhurt, I couldn’t take my eyes off them. My eldest daughter was pale and silent, my son wept, and my youngest daughter clung to me for the next three hours”.
Faten and her family are being assisted by Himaya, which provides psychological care and protection with UNICEF’s support.
The explosion has made a bad situation worse for families in Lebanon who are already facing a lack of safe drinking water, daily power cuts and the threat of COVID-19. The challenges are staggering and profound stress will take time to heal, but Fatma feels supported. “They [Himaya] were the first people to call us after the blast. The only people to call and check on my children and to ask if we needed any assistance. Since that day, they have been here for us, making my hope for a return to normal life a little more achievable”.