| Nov 23, 2023
A Message From Aleppo
Two young children carrying a carpet in Aleppo
I have the priviledge to be here in Aleppo for one month, volunteering with our partner, the Blu Marists, who have been active since the beginning of the war and have always helped and supported anyone in need. I am also visiting other projects and people who are trying to do their best in such a difficult contest.
While all our eyes are focusing on the ongoing terrible violence and suffering in Gaza and Israel, I ask you not to forget the children in Aleppo who find no peace.
Syria is the cradle of our shared culture. Before the war and the punishing international sanctions, Syrians have been trading for millennia along the Silk Road and beyond. Many Syrians studied, worked, and travelled abroad and in Aleppo’s multicultural society, Christianity and Islam truly coexisted for thousands of years. Today, over 89% of inhabitants, especially children, have never stopped paying for the consequences of war, violence, and the recent earthquake. Don’t forget them!
Every day I am seeing children, many as young as 8 years old, who are working to help their family. They are illiterate, traumatized and their future looks bleak. Many families have lost their homes because of the earthquake, and most have been already displaced many times before. Few suitable homes are available and are mostly unaffordable. If you could see them you would not want to enter as they look very unsafe.
Food is too expensive for most people, even those who have jobs, because the Syrian Pound is connected to the US$ and the exchange rate is constantly rising. In February 2023 it was $1 to SYP 8,000 and it is today over SYP14,000. Bread, Gas, Petrol is rationed. Electricity is two hours per day, making most professions impossible. A reasonable office salary is $60 per month; one liter of olive oil is $ 7, one kg of chicken $ 4, one kg of rice is $ 1. People are starving.
Winter is coming and the temperature is low, I am writing this wearing all my warm clothes and a blanket to keep warm. Most children I see are wearing summer clothes, and especially, ill-fitting sandals or open shoes.
I know times are difficult for all of us, but please consider donating to relieve hunger and cold of some of Aleppo’s children. This is the season of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas, and on 29th November is International Giving Tuesday. Please consider donating even the smallest amount to share this season with the children of Aleppo.
You can make a difference immediately: $ 10 dollars can buy basic food for one month or a new pair of shoes for a child. $ 100 sets up a led lamp and battery to bring some free light to a family. $ 1000 pays the electricity for 6 months for a carpenter’s factory providing work for two families.
Your generosity brings a small light into our confusing times. Donating is good for the mind and the heart, thank you!
Boy aged 9 working from 8am to 8pm for $1.5 x week
Sample of $ 10 monthly food parcel for one family
Aleppo Citadel 18-11-2023