Former World War II refugees are paying it forward by writing letters of hope to Syrian refugee children.
Sajeda, a 16-year-old refugee from Syria who is currently living in Jordan, received a letter from an 87-year-old woman named Helga Kissell.
“I know it is always difficult to adjust in a different country. I feel very deeply for you,” Kissell wrote to Sajeda. “There will be better times ahead.”
PBS NewsHour reported that Sajeda cried upon receiving the letter.
“She made me feel like I exist,” Sajeda says in the video below, produced by CARE -- the humanitarian organization behind the program. “Even though I have not met her in person, now she plays an important role in my life.”
Letters were extremely significant in Kissell’s life as well. When she was Sajeda’s age, she and her mother were forced to flee their home in Berlin in 1945 and live in a Bavarian village, according to PBS. She was working at the counter of a photography shop when an American soldier named Leo came in looking for a place to develop prints.
“I heard her say, ‘How many prints, please?’ It grew from there,” Leo told PBS. The two began writing letters to each other once Leo returned to the U.S. Eventually they fell in love and got married.
In 1945, CARE began sending care packages to refugees during World War II, according to its site. Today they are providing the same service to Syrian refugees, with an added bonus -- a letter from an original recipient of the packages.
“I can only hope that Sajeda will find peace, first of all in herself, and also get over the tremendous shock of having to leave her home,” Kissell told Mashable.
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