Several people have asked for my opinion on how to actually DO something to help the situation in Syria, which seems to set new benchmarks for horror, cruelty and heartbreak every day.
These are my ideas – I’d be glad if others wanted to add their own in the comments.
Please choose one. Do something. Every one of us who takes action to help, no matter how small, also strikes a blow against the monsters inflicting this violence against innocent people – and gives hope to us all.
Below are some organisations that could use your support.
1.THE WHITE HELMETS
Nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize who every day risk their lives to save victims of Russia and the Syrian regime’s indiscriminate aerial bombing.
I have watched hours of footage of them in action: their bravery and spirit of self-sacrifice is astonishing.
Show your support and donate here: https://www.whitehelmets.org/
The fantastic UK charity HELP REFUGEES also has a fund to buy these guys an ambulance, after one they had previously donated was destroyed in a Russian airstrike.
Support that appeal here:https://mydonate.bt.com/events/ambulanceforsyria/330850
(They are also very active on social media so like their page for useful news and updates on Syria and the refugee crisis.)
2. THE SYRIAN-AMERICAN MEDICAL SOCIETY
Again an extraordinary altruistic organisation whose volunteer medics travel from the US to offer care for civilians inside Syria, including Aleppo, as well as in refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
Their website: https://www.sams-usa.net/foundation/
One of their inspirational volunteers is Dr Samer Attar whose testimony to the UN Security Council went round the world: http://www.newsday.com/…/diplomats-hear-testimony-on-syrian…
3. THE SYRIA CAMPAIGN
In my view, it’s not enough to limit our efforts to humanitarian relief. We need to be actively campaigning to stop the slaughter, to hold war criminals to account and pile pressure on Putin and Assad, two men, two human beings who are directly responsible for this carnage.
The best organisation I have encountered myself that is trying to achieve some of those aims is the Syria Campaign: https://thesyriacampaign.org/
They have set what should be clearly identifiable, achievable goals to help: from lifting the sieges of opposition areas, to enforcing a No-Fly Zone. Sign their petitions, join their mailing lists and get more people behind the cause.
4. Other excellent groups to support include:
– Hand-in-Hand for Syria: http://www.handinhandforsyria.org.uk/
– Kamal Foundation: http://www.karamfoundation.org/emergency-aid-children-of-sy…
– SOS Syria: http://www.sos-syria.org/
Beyond that, keep watching the news, keep writing, tweeting, sharing about what’s going on in Syria. Putin and Assad are banking on us getting bored, turning away, so they can continue to kill with impunity.
No. Not any more.