Innocent children’s lives are being smashed to pieces… SamCam speaks of her horror on a barefoot visit to Syrian refugee camp
Barefoot and sitting cross-legged on the floor, Samantha Cameron is listening to mothers telling stories about their children.
But in this mothers’ group, the tales are of grief, fear and terrible loss. They are some of the most shocking stories she has ever heard.
On her first solo foreign trip, the Prime Minister’s wife and mother of three travelled to Lebanon to meet families torn apart by the crisis in Syria.
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Tragic stories: Samantha Cameron talks to a girl who saw her uncle being killed in the street in Syria and helped to bring his body indoors, and her aunt, who was travelling in a car out of Syria when a sniper shot at her car and killed her baby son
Tour: Samantha Cameron walks with Justin Forsth, CEO of Save the Children, through a refugee settlement in Lebanon, close to the Syria border
After visiting refugees, the woman who rarely makes public pronouncements warned that innocent childhoods were ‘being smashed to pieces’ in the conflict.
Mrs Cameron said: ‘As a mother, it is horrifying to hear the harrowing stories from the children I met today. No child should ever experience what they have.
‘With every day that passes, more children and parents are being killed, more innocent childhoods are being smashed to pieces.’
Mrs Cameron, who has been an ambassador for Save the Children since 2011, visited a camp in the Bekaa Valley on Tuesday and spoke to women and children caught up in the violence.
Traumatic: The mother of three meets a Syrian mother whose baby is suffering from a broken leg in a refugee settlement in Lebanon
Shocking: The Prime Minister’s wife said she was horrified by stories she heard from those caught up in the violence during her visit to Lebanon
Visibly emotional after speaking to a mother whose young son was killed by a sniper in front of her other six children, she said: ‘It’s so shocking. It’s difficult to take in.
‘Her three-year-old son was shot by a sniper at a checkpoint – a sniper aiming at a car full of seven children. I mean, it’s just … you just can’t imagine why that could happen.’
The grieving mother had told Mrs Cameron: ‘I was driving with my children, trying to escape Syria, when the shooting started. How can anyone shoot at a car with seven children in it?
‘They shot my baby and he died. His brothers and sisters saw this happen.’ At a health clinic at the camp, Mrs Cameron held the hand of a little disabled boy. Because of constant shelling and sniper fire, his mother struggles to find healthcare for him.’
An estimated three million people have fled their homes in Syria. One million have made it to neighbouring countries but two million are trapped in the warzone.
Save The Children chief executive Justin Forsyth, who accompanied Mrs Cameron, said: ‘Samantha Cameron’s support helps draw attention to the plight of children caught up in this terrifying conflict. Without more help , and quickly, we risk losing a generation of Syria’s children.’
Scared: Samantha Cameron meets a mother and her disabled son in a Save the Children supported health clinic in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, close to the Syria border. The mother struggled to care for her son inside Syria after the shelling destroyed local hospitals, and shooting made it too dangerous to venture outside
Rehabilitation: The PM’s wife meets Syrian refugee children at one of Save the Children’s specialist centres in Lebanon, close to the Syria border. The centre helps children to overcome trauma, and supports children to cope with the distressing scenes they have witnessed inside Syria