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Former Manor pupil describes Syrian horror after volunteering with Human Relief Foundation

Hartlepool volunteer Sarah Gate with Shukri, a Syrian refugee in Jordan

Hartlepool volunteer Sarah Gate with Shukri, a Syrian refugee in Jordan

A DEDICATED aid worker has described the upset of witnessing first hand the horror ordeal faced by thousands who have fled war-torn Syria.

Twenty-six year-old Sarah Gate has volunteered at poverty-hit areas across the world as part of her selfless work for the Human Relief Foundation.

But the former Manor College of Technology student admits she has found it difficult to stop the tears as she spends time with thousands who have had their lives ripped apart during the war in Syria and fled to nearby Jordan in the hope of freedom and safety.

Sarah is in the middle of a visit to the King Abdullah camp, in Jordan, where she has heard countless horror stories as a result of the conflict.

“It’s not at all as I expected,” said Sarah, who lived in the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool before moving to Bradford to work for the charity.

“I thought the Syrian refugees in the camp would be OK now that they have managed to get out of Syria but they really aren’t.

“We asked one little boy to draw us a picture of Syria and he drew a tank. He was eight-years-old. It’s just a whole other world.

“I’ve spent so much of the trip crying. I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset but it is so difficult to sit and watch people whose lives have been ripped apart and not get upset about it.”

It’s estimated that around 600,000 Syrians have fled the war-torn country for Jordan since the conflict started three years ago.

But Sarah explained how Syrians aren’t allowed to work in Jordan, so they are left penniless in a constant battle to make ends meet – many of whom have lost relatives and close friends in the war.

“One lady told us how her children were lined up and threatened,” told Sarah.

“All of the children were stood screaming.

“Another told us that her children were in a school and it was bombed. They made it out alive, thank god.”

Sarah said the work of the Human Relief Foundation means she will be able to help to feed some of the estimated 60,000 desperate refugees during her trip as well as raising awareness of the work the charity carries out.

And she said, despite the difficulty of witnessing people living in such conditions, it’s good to see the impact the work of the charity can have on refugees.

“Apart from that it’s also really life affirming going to these places,” she said.

“You think about yourself and the small things you complain about in your everyday life.

“And then you see how these refugees are living and how happy they are to see you.”

People can show their support for the work carried out by the Human Relief Foundation by visiting www.hrf.org.uk.

 

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