Thousands of families — including infants and the elderly — are fleeing war and violence in Syria in hope of finding peace and a future. To get a perspective on that journey, here’s a turn-by-turn Google map — walking directions for a family fleeing Aleppo, Syria, trying to get to Horgos, Serbia.
The family would have to walk more than 1,400 miles to get to Serbia’s border with Hungary.
It would take 452 hours — about 50 days — if they walked eight hours per day and were able to cover an ambitious 25 miles per day.
More likely, that arduous trek would be a mix of walking and riding on transport while carrying possessions, shepherding young children, and stopping to look for food.
“It was cold, and we didn’t have blankets to cover ourselves,” said Muhammed, a 72-year-old Syrian refugee who had stopped at a park in Belgrade, Serbia, with his two grandchildren and daughter-in-law. “It is very difficult.”
But many are willing to make that uncertain and dangerous journey.
Hungary closed its border with Serbia this week, forcing refugees and migrants to seek entry into Europe through Croatia. And Croatia is now considering closing its borders with Serbia, fearing they will be overcome with refugees.
Thousands of people have congregated this week in the Horgos area on the Serbia-Hungary border. Some families are sleeping in tents, others out in the open.
World Vision has been distributing relief packs to weary refugees, which include bottled water, bananas, sanitary wipes, honey packets, and dates. For families with infants, World Vision has provided baby food and diapers.
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Learn more about the Syria crisis
- Check out our FAQs on the Syrian refugee crisis: What is it? When did it start? Why are Syrians fleeing their homes? How is the war affecting children? How can I help those affected and show them God’s love?
- View 23 photos of life through the eyes of a Syrian refugee child: We asked children to show us what life is like for them in an informal tent settlement in Lebanon.
- Read other content on the Syria refugee crisis.
How you can help refugees
- Pray for refugee children and families. Read our prayer guide for 8 ways to pray about the Syrian refugee crisis.
- Make a one-time gift to provide help for refugees. Or become a World Vision Refugee Responder to help meet the needs of refugee families from Syria and elsewhere who are struggling to survive.