A Sense of Belonging
Fahd Al-Ali is an internally displaced person (IDP) from Aleppo who is now located in a camp in the city of Mare.
Despite the difficulties of living in the camps and the scarcity of employment opportunities, Fahd was ecstatic at the chance when he was selected to participate in the cash-for-work campaign launched by the Local Development Organization in Mare.
Fahd has said that:
‘When I commenced participation in this campaign held by LDO, my motivation was not the monetary reward I would obtain at the end, but the concept of the campaign itself. This campaign would cease the feeling that I had of being a burden on the host community, and it would be an opportunity for me to integrate with the community in the city of Mare’.
The campaign was divided into two parts:
“A Campaign for Cleaning the City Streets & a Campaign for Repairing Roads”
‘I participated in both campaigns and contributed to creating a pleasant appearance to the area that I now belonged to. Furthermore, many residents of the camp turned down the opportunity to participate because the work was related to getting your hands dirty by cleaning and drilling or that the reward was inconsistent with the request. For me, it was something different and it was an opportunity to make a difference. My participation in the campaign was a chance to meet new friends and prove to the host society that a displaced person was not just a consumer and a burden on the city, but that on a positive note they were people who could offer and produce when given the opportunity. This effect was actually reflected following the campaign when someone offered me a job and suggested that I work for him in the field of reclamation of land. Moreover, the matter that made me happier was that he said to me: “I have seen you work hard and you do not wait for anyone to praise you. I really appreciate this and I want you to be part of my project”’.
‘Now, I am part of a team; I do my daily tasks and earn my living and meet the needs of my family rather than sitting in my house waiting for the occasional food basket to be distributed to me’.
‘Finally, I would like to thank the Local Development Organization and the Local Council in Mare, because they have improved my living conditions and have given me an opportunity to adapt and integrate into the community, where this matter has preserved my dignity’.