Rukiye Dabha

My name is Rukiye Dabha. I am 65 years old and from the Raqqa province in Syria. I was married to my cousin when I was only 19 years old. My aunt was very poor, and she was a widow. She was making handicrafts at home and I was assisting her in order to support her orphan children. My husband was selling vegetables on the streets.

My first baby died after birth. When I was 21 I gave birth to a baby boy, and then I had my baby daughter when I was 23. After I gave birth to my second daughter at the age of 25, I had an hysterectomy. My concern then was how to pay for the midwife, because we were very poor, and my mother took care of my children after I had my surgery.

When our home in Syria was hit by an airstrike two years ago, we decided to move to Turkey, and some of our relatives helped us with some money. We spent all our savings and had to borrow money to survive. My husband is sick and cannot work, and he is in Syria now. My daughter is helping me to survive.

Luckily, one of my friends introduced me to Martta – this good lady who is helping us to support our lives.

I hope that one day we return to our homeland. Our many thanks go to Martta.