When her neighbors first invited Rosa* to attend Operation Mercy’s fitness classes in one of the Syrian Refugee Camps, Rosa was struggling with the physical, emotional and social effects of being childless for the first six years of her marriage. The doctors had given her many different diagnoses, medicines and fertility treatments, but the only result was her loosing hope of ever becoming a mother. Constant reminders of her lack of children affected Rosa’s relationships causing her to withdraw and feel lonely. People told her that her husband was sure to take a second wife if she didn’t get pregnant. Rosa had gained a lot of weight and her emotional instability caused bouts of violence and exhaustion that negatively affected her marriage.
“Before coming to fitness I was hopeless but after coming here I received great hope,” Rosa said.
Remembering when she joined the exercise class Rosa said: “The first day I came I saw that everyone was treating each other kindly. Everything was well organized, and the atmosphere was full of love.”
With the support of her husband, Rosa started to come regularly and continued to attend all the way through the hot summer months. Day by day she experienced improvements and in the course of time, she lost 20 kg of weight, made new friends and became more social and emotionally balanced.
Rosa said: “My life was changed a lot emotionally because I met many friends and I felt much better. I became a social person who speaks and listens to people, tells jokes and throws her embarrassment far away! I lost about 20Kilos! I lost a lot of weight! Many people were amazed and couldn’t recognize me. They were surprised and said that they can’t believe that I am the same person. […] Even my husband keeps telling that my body is much better now and my mood as well because I often laugh and joke! […]
“I went to the doctor and he also was amazed saying “I can’t believe that you’re the same Rosa. I can tell that fitness changed you! You became a joyful person and lost a lot of weight.” So he did a check and said that my hormones are normal now and everything is in order! He added, “Now we can expect that you will become pregnant”.”