By Sandrina da Cruz - Senior Manager of Disaster Response
Photo: Pomoc deci
We’ve passed a tragic milestone in the Syrian crisis. Syrian women, men, and children have had to endure the conflict and instability brought by the war for 10 years now. But last month, we also reached a significant milestone: raising more than $2 million to support the 19.8 million refugee families uprooted from their homes.
Since the start of the crisis, Syrian refugees have sought asylum in 130 countries. And since 2013, your donations have supported them. In the aftermath of the blasts in Beirut, Lebanon to the fires at refugee camps in Greece, our local partners have used your donations to serve those who need them the most.
This past year has added complexity to everyone’s lives, including refugees whose journeys home are on hold as they pursue safety and security for their families. GlobalGiving partners are relentless in their efforts to meet these compounding challenges. Here’s how they’re continuing to bring relief and hope to the refugee communities they serve:
Pomoc deci is bringing sunshine to the cold Serbian winters. For the last three months, the nonprofit has organized a series of winter-themed activities for Syrian children to unwind with their friends. The team at Pomoc Deci has been providing these kinds of psychosocial services for Syrian children and mothers in Serbia for years. “These families are without proper work, stuck in long-term transit which takes a serious mental toll,” Ljiljana Vasic, Pomoc Deci’s Director, said. Ljiljana and her team have adapted their services throughout the pandemic to ensure they can continue providing mental and emotional support to these families.
Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants is providing countless services across Turkey. The nonprofit operates 55 centers across the country that is currently hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees (3.6 million). “We act as a bridge between host communities and refugees,” Buket Bahar Divrak, ASAM Deputy General Coordinator, said. The services offered at these centers ensure refugees with an illness or health complication such as COVID-19 or epilepsy, for example, can access the medical support they need.
Basmeh and Zeitooneh are meeting refugees where they are. Because the nonprofit works across Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, they’re able to direct donations to the most urgent needs. One of those places is Lebanon after the deteriorating economic crisis and last summer’s horrific Beirut Port explosions. Funds are being directed to the ongoing cost of operating two schools and getting food baskets, hygiene materials, and cash into the hands of impacted Syrian refugees. According to Fadi Hallisso, CEO of Basmeh and Zeitooneh, “the rapid devaluation of the currency in Lebanon is a serious problem” that is affecting their operations, the lives of refugees, and their team’s families.
Many of us are looking forward to some semblance of normality in our lives following this turbulent year. Yet, normalcy is still far off for millions of Syrians scattered across the world without access to basic necessities. We hope that by making these resources available, they will be closer to securing a safe and stable life for their families wherever they are now.
Thank you for contributing to the livelihoods of so many Syrian women, men, and children and helping to keep the spark of hope alive.
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When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.
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