Al Za'atari refugee camp
‘My office building was bombed. About 30 people died. I do not know how, but I was not even injured. It was a miracle. I could die at any time. But it is what I have to do to help people.’
Musbah (all names have been changed to protect people from increased danger of attack), works in Aleppo, Syria, for an organisation which provides shelter, food and other assistance to orphans, widows, and other women and children who have been forced to flee the violence and terror the Syrian conflict has rained on their homes.
They have lost their belongings, and face danger every moment. Musbah, a young man who has just gained a scholarship to study advanced science in Europe, admits that his choice to stay in Aleppo causes his family deep concern (‘It makes my mother cry,’ he told us), but he is proud of the work he is doing.
He shows photos of a library they have created, and a bakery, which employs people who have been forced from their homes, and uses local ingredients, to make bread which is then distributed to people in desperate need of food.
Musbah was speaking to us in Turkey, in June 2014, where he was taking a RedR UK training course which will help him to stay safe enough to continue to help some of Syria and the world’s most desperate people to stay alive.
His story is not unusual. Nor is that of the women and children he helps, who have lost everything in a war now into its fourth year.
The United Nations reports that 10.8m Syrians – out of a total population of 22.4m – are in urgent need of aid. It warns that this number will increase to more than 15m by the end of this year.
Close to 4m people have fled to surrounding states, while almost 7m remain within Syria.
And because aid workers are unable to legally enter Syria, the only people who are able to help are people who are dedicated, but inexperienced; committed, but untrained in delivering aid.
That’s where RedR UK comes in: drawing on our experience in specialist international training of NGO workers, and with a focus on capacity building – ensuring that local communities have the skills they need to respond to disasters - we are perfectly placed to deliver the skills ‘Musbah’ and others need, to try to help millions of people affected by war.
From Personal Security Training – helping aid workers to stay safe and healthy enough to deliver aid – to courses specialising in delivering skills to enable people new to the aid sector to provide shelter, food, water and sanitation to refugees and internally-displaced people, RedR UK is on hand to help.
But we cannot provide this vital training indefinitely: we need funding to enable our expert trainers to help Syrians recover from this devastating war.
With your help, we can send experts to the Middle East, or, even better, we can set up a staffed regional centre from which we can deliver vital training to ‘Musbah’ and those like him, to ensure more Syrians receive the help they urgently need.
The Syrian people have the potential and commitment. We have the skills. And you have the ability to make sure they are combined.
Make a donation and help Syrians overcome disaster.