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Rajaa with her two eldest daughters.


Rajaa is in effect an only mum. Her husband is already in Germany while Rajaa and her three young daughters, aged four, three and one year old, are stuck in Sindos camp in Thessalonikki, Greece. 

“My daughters and I stayed in Syria with our family when my husband went to Germany,” explains Rajaa. “We planned for him to settle in and get a job and then we would join him.” However, the war in Syria became so bad that Rajaa was forced to take her daughters and flee. 
“The planes destroyed my home and my village,” she recalls. She and her daughters ran from the bombs from one village to the next until there were no more places to hide. 

“I travelled with the girls on my own,” she says. “My youngest was only five months old when we came to Greece in a dinghy boat.”

Rajaa's husband is not allowed to work in Germany at the moment, so he is unable to send his family any money. That means Rajaa is entirely dependent on the sparse food that is provided to her and the girls. She is scared because she doesn't have enough clothes for the winter and she worries that her little ones will get sick from the poor hygienic conditions in the camp.

“Everything outside is very dirty,” Rajaa says. “One of my daughters fell into the stagnant water next to the toilets and I was very scared that she would catch something.”

Life at Sindos is very difficult for a woman on her own but Rajaa has no idea if and when she will be allowed to join her husband in Germany.
“The most important thing for me is to find a safe place for my daughters now,” Rajaa says. Until then she will try to cope, one day at a time. 

The tent at Sindos camp in which Rajaa and her three young daughters live.

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