A life in a tent

How nice it is to be home! We’ve done all our winter preparations and are ready to cozy up at home, looking forward to getting away from the stress and hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas season. The gray weather as well as the rain outside makes being together in the warm with family even cozier….

“Look at these cracks! – The tents are only 2 months old and already the wind is whistling through them,” -Mahmoud A. is indignant about the poor quality of the tents in his refugee camp near the Syrian border. “Now it is still summer, but in winter this is a disaster. Then the tent hardly offers any protection against wetness and cold!” He explains to the Swiss Barakah Charity team.

“You see – the tents are built for a single family. However, due to the shortage, the tents have to be shared by 2 – 3 families!” He continues “With Allah it is necessary to seek help,” he says in conclusion, quoting the famous words “Allahu Musta’an” of the Prophet Jacob when he learned of the loss of his son Joseph at the hands of his brothers.

Meanwhile, imagine how you might feel in such a tent: with other families in a medium-sized tent – 24/7, 365 days a year. You can’t take off your clothes because of the looks of the others and there is no other possibility to withdraw. The children have little to do and often quarrel, which can get on your nerves after a while, and you desperately want to be alone for a few hours. There are noises all the time and you never get to rest. Even at night there are almost always noises: a baby crying, someone going to the bathroom, a cough here, a snore there. The smell is certainly not pleasant either. Imagine a mixture of cooked herbs, sweaty clothes and other body odors….

One can understand the relief that a family’s own tent offers in such a situation. Simply being able to relax and take off some of your clothes and being confronted with far fewer disturbing factors. What a great asset one’s own four walls are – or at least one’s own tent. The SBC team recognizes the problem and starts working. After the paths in the camp have already been fortified against the impending wetness, the team begins to build more tents so that, if possible, each family has its own “place of retreat”. In addition, the broken tents are replaced by new tents. The new tents are much more stable and of better quality. The new tents are insulated on the inside and water and snow resistant on the outside. This still does not replace a cozy living room, but makes the winter a lot more bearable…

In any case, the people in the refugee camp are extremely happy and make supplications for the donors who have made the new tents possible. For many it is already the ninth winter in a tent and thanks to your help in shaa Allah it will be the most bearable so far! So, the cold days can come, – at least for the inhabitants of this camp!

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