“One of my relatives in Syria disappeared on his way home and we haven’t heard from him in days! He just visited his uncle and wanted to be back for dinner.” With tears in her eyes, Hevin* came to our fitness project. “He’s only 14!” she added.
Immediately the women surrounded her in compassion, also in shock. “Sadly, that’s happening quite often these days” I was told by one of them. All of us were troubled, as we gathered to comfort Hevin. After thanking her for sharing her heart with us, she said: “I needed to come. I don’t have any other place like this, where I can share and people really care.” The other women were nodding. Many of them started to come to the fitness classes because they wanted to lose weight. They have realized that losing weight was just the initial reason, now they have also found a loving community of friends they can share and be together with.
Very often that’s the most powerful thing we as humans can do for each other: to show each other our vulnerability, and realizing that we’re are not alone, that there are others and I’m seen. That’s what happens again and again in our project - the Syrian women of the camp experience a place where people really care and share. Losing weight is one of the main reasons why they start to come to class, but why they stay and continue to come is because of the hope and the community they experience.