War and fighting have scared off many families who have chosen to leave Syria but for the elderly who had neither the means nor the physical capacity to leave Aleppo, they remained in their city. Having spent most of their past lives here, it was too hard for them to leave and so most of them decided to stay and to face war. But loneliness and oblivion have become their daily uphill battle and their powerlessness cries for help.

Suzy, head of visits to the elderly in Aleppo

I like to help the elderly, who really suffer from loneliness. I can't help much but when I visit them in their place I feel what they feel. I am often very upset when I discover their miseries, especially when I feel powerless to help them. I hope that our volunteers will always keep their enthusiasm during visits to the elderly, despite sometimes difficult miseries. They do a lot of good.

For over a year and a half, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has been involved with the elderly in Aleppo. A dedicated team was created and placed under the responsibility of Syrian volunteers to respond to the urgent medical and food needs of these people, who are often alone and isolated, sometimes disabled or sick.

Today, this team is growing. A dozen Syrian volunteers visit them three days a week. About 200 elderly people regularly receive donations from the association. Syrian volunteers provide instructions visits, and each time they bring packs of supplies for the elderly which contain hygiene products, clothing, food, oil to fuel the gas, drinking water, etc. The volunteers are then sent out in groups of three or four visiting the elderly all across the city.

Today they visit Aya, an elderly lady who lives alone in a small apartment, which resembles a cellar.

And among a ton of waste, lives Joseph who is 55 years old, blind and paralyzed in his legs following a car accident. Despite his disability, he managed to build a wheelchair of fortune to move.

In the light of these needs, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has hired a maid to clean up Aya's room and has financed the purchase of a new chair for Joseph.

Their cases are far from isolated. By its actions, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient can not only improve the daily lives of older people, but can also create sustainable and warm social links.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.