Our disaster relief team is working hard to help Syrians displaced within the borders of their own country. Mike Parks, GHNI’s Director of Disaster Relief, shares the following realities with us.
Boy does his homework on his mother’s tomb
The harsh and complex civil war in Syria continues. Even as there are talks going on in Geneva, millions of Syrians are suffering and a nation is being torn apart at its foundation.
Bullets and mortars are still flying and many times the targets are not military but civilian populations. Many churches, even some of the most ancient churches, and communities are being destroyed. In cities like Aleppo, life is very disrupted as the war rages around them.
The heart breaking stories are growing like mountains of sorrow across this land of war. In Syria, more than 1,000 schools are destroyed, 1,200,000 homes are totally destroyed, and 8 million people are displaced inside Syria or as refugees outside of Syria.
Electricity is often available only 2 hours per day and water it is difficult to get. Even cities that are near normal have the burden of caring for thousands of refugees. On top of all this, it is winter and many are suffering from the cold.
A leader of an oppressed minority group in the local community I met in November 2013, recently sent the following email:
‘Christmas season here was minimum in everything, even some church activities. But mortars were at their maximum activity, dozens of bombs fell on a minority area in Aleppo on the 25th and 31st at night. Windows broke in my parents’ apartment, a mortar fell on an apartment near one of our friend’s apartment, and other one on the apartment right next to his.’
Another story from a contact inside Syria:
‘A young Syrian boy lost his parents. He keeps going to a school led by concerned people from the area teaching students for a few hours per day. When he came back from school to do his homework, he sat on his mother’s tomb. When asked why, he said, ‘When she was alive, she helped me every day to finish my homework. Now I feel she is doing the same when I study close to her.’
This is a difficult time for all those in Syria who wish to live in peace. We are helping victims of this brutal civil war. We need more friends to join with us.
Food has been distributed in one region. We are looking for ways to continue bringing in aid. Since the situation is evolving, we have to be flexible on how we bring in aid. We hope to do another distribution soon.
Working with a reliable network, we are able to get lifesaving food, medicines, clothing, items for infants and mothers, and other essential items to many of the neediest people.
Join us in bringing relief to these devastated people!