Eight months pregnant, Amal and her husband were forced to choose between staying in a conflict zone and fleeing their home with just the clothes they were wearing.
Like millions of other refugees from the Syria region, they embarked on a harrowing trek to Europe. With a swollen belly and two young children in tow, Amal journeyed across the ocean and walked for days in search of safe haven.
Their already desperate situation reached crisis point when Amal went into labour on the Serbian-Croatian border. She went to hospital alone as there was no room in the ambulance for her husband.
Amal’s name means ‘hope’ in her language, and her hope was renewed after World Vision provided her family with crucial social support far from home. World Vision is supporting refugees on the move in Serbia, providing food, hygiene items, child protection and psycho-social services.
Amal’s family was supported so they could remain together and share in the joy of her baby’s birth. This vital assistance helped to ease the stress for a family in crisis.
“We helped transport the family to the hospital, and we assisted them with doctors and trying to get the right paperwork to get the child registered,” World Vision’s Weihui Wang explained. “We worked with mum on having a plan on what they would do after they gave birth.”
Amal’s children also had a safe place to sleep while their mother was in labour. “And we arranged for UNHCR to escort them across the border once they arrived back,” Weihui said.
A joyous moment
After safely delivering her baby, Amal was reunited with her family. Her beaming husband passed the bassinet around for all to see. The older siblings peered in to look at their new baby brother. It was a joyous moment for a family that had already suffered so much, with a long journey still ahead.
“I am happy,” Amal said as she embraced Weihui. “I went to the hospital and … I felt hopeless … (But) when the baby came, the hopeless changed to hope. When I saw the baby I had another hope to go on and take all my family with me.”
With his hand stretched over his heart, Amal’s husband added, “Thank you for everything, thank you very much.”
“This baby crossed the sea!” Amal exclaimed as she held up her newborn child. She then took the next steps on her journey, walking across the border with her family.
Soon after, Weihui received a message from Amal. They had arrived safely in their European destination. For Amal, her newborn child and family, hope is renewed.
World Vision is helping those affected by the Syrian conflict in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Serbia.