"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection," - Sigmund Freud

 

Syria's ongoing conflict has torn countless families apart. Entire communities have been uprooted, scattering millions within Syria and driving more than 4 million people into surrounding countries.  Syrian fathers usually a refugee household's main breadwinners are now facing the daily hardships of refugee life in many host countries

In the case of Syrian Armenians, refugee families lacking a financial income are sometimes being forced to send their children to work (instead of school), in order to survive. 

Kevok Allajan who fled from Aleppo to find refuge in Armenia, is father of three children. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

Kevok Allajan who fled from Aleppo to find refuge in Armenia, is father of three children. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

According to the Karageuzian Foundation in Marash Camp Bourj Hammoud there are over 660 Syrian Armenian refugee children registered to attend various day schools in Lebanon.  We met with various refugee families, and social workers who told us stories of families forced to  pull their children out of school in order to make ends meet.  Rents for these refugee families is their largest expense.  Refugee breadwinner fathers are trying more than ever to provide for their families.

 

Yeghisapet Chilingirian, originally from Aleppo, is an elderly lady who with her family fled the war in Syria and now lives in Yerevan, Armenia. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

Yeghisapet Chilingirian, originally from Aleppo, is an elderly lady who with her family fled the war in Syria and now lives in Yerevan, Armenia. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

Other Syrian refugees who found refuge in Armenia are living in refugee shelters as head of households cannot seem to be able to afford paying for apartments.

Some of the refugees live in a kind of shelter in the suburb of Yerevan, Armenia. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

Some of the refugees live in a kind of shelter in the suburb of Yerevan, Armenia. (Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photo Agency)

But as always, fathers are resilient and seem to be rebuilding again. Many are already trying to start new businesses in Yerevan.

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

Photo credit: BBC

Photo credit: BBC

Every day, Syrian Armenians are starting over in Armenia as a recent Civilinet article reported by opening various small businesses. And they are doing it to support their families.

Gaidz, who has escaped war torn Aleppo, Syria with his family set up a successful bakery in Yerevan, Armenia called Lahmajun Gaidz (photo credit: Zanku Armenian)

Gaidz, who has escaped war torn Aleppo, Syria with his family set up a successful bakery in Yerevan, Armenia called Lahmajun Gaidz (photo credit: Zanku Armenian)

Syrian Armenian fathers have become important human capital in Armenia's service economy adding diversity and new dimensions to customer service. Lahmajun Gaidz, founded by Gaidz from Aleppo makes incredible Middle Eastern foods like Lahmajuns, Manayeesh and other creations. He and his family are known for service with a smile and exuding positive energy.

 

Every good father longs to give his children a safe, fulfilling future. But for the Dads amongst Armenia's estimated 15,000 Syrian refugees, it’s not something they can always offer. Some of these urban refugees are even struggling with their rents.  

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

"I work 12-14 hours per day. Its hard. But to be safely with my family in Armenia now is a miracle," a head of household refugee, Kevork told us. "Some of us [men] are still in Aleppo, and others are in Sweden, away from their families. But, I am here. For this I say, it is a miracle and I thank God for it" as he looks at his children. " When I come home after a long day" he says, "my big pleasure is to see that my children are continuing to go to school. At this stage its all about the children and their future."

This year, break away from the usual gifts for Father’s Day and help refugee families across the world.

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

Photo credit: Avo John Kambourian

As the war in Syria wages on, We can still create hope, We can help, and We need funding. If you're  asking yourself what YOU can do to help those seeking refuge, WATCH this video and contribute by going to igg.me/at/rootsforrefugees. We have 16 days left to make a difference !

This Father's Day, honor your father by making a donation in his name. Your contribution will give refugee families in Armenia with much needed housing assistance! go now and donate

It’s easy!

1. Go To  #RootsForRefugees

2.  Insert the details of your Dad as the donor and we'll send him a donation receipt.

3. Put a smile on your Dad's face by telling him about it.

 

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