“I have no-one but God.”

Um Shadi, 56, is a mother-of-five. Originally from Tunisia, she moved to Syria when she married, 17 years ago. Since her husband died, before the war began, Um Shadi has been the sole provider for her children – and she has no relatives to help her.

“I have no grownup son and no husband to protect me. Everyone is looking after himself in this difficult situation: I have no-one but God.”

She and her children left Ming village, north of Aleppo, after shelling damaged her already crumbling house. They found no safe place in Aleppo, the focus of heavy fighting, and returned to their village after barrel bombs started to be used on the streets of the city, she says.

Living in fear

She and her children live in fear. When the little ones hear the sound of airplanes, they run to their mother and the whole family hides in the basement. It has been three years since any of the children went to school.

Um Shadi looks after her chronically ill son, who needs regular medical care. Her eldest daughter – who lives with her since her husband fled the area – is pregnant. They both worry about the unborn baby, whom doctors say is not getting sufficient nourishment. Hunger is a daily reality for the family.

Um Shadi wants to leave the war-torn country.

“I want to go back to my country with my children. But I can’t communicate with anyone, or with my family there, as I don’t have money.”

Trapped in Syria, Um Shadi and her family depend on humanitarian assistance. Islamic Relief has provided them with mattresses, but they need much more.

Around 9.3 million people in Syria require humanitarian assistance. Almost half of these are children. We reached 1.4 million people like Um Shadi last year, and we want to help many more.

Please support our efforts to provide life-saving aid to those caught up in this brutal conflict: donate to our Syria appeal today.