We regret to inform all of our amazing supporters over the last few years that effective immediately, From Syria With Love will no longer be continuing as a registered charity, but will do as an initiative. We would like to take this opportunity to explain why and how we, as a charity, have come to this decision. As many of you know, this started out as a small exhibition that quickly grew bigger than was expected. In order to facilitate this growth and enable FSWL to continue to get donations to refugees that were overlooked by the big NGOs, FSWL became a registered charity. This would enable FSWL to claim gift aid on donations, however, there was one problem, for this FSWL needed a bank account. Over the past 2 years the Trustees have approached numerous banks in order to open one, however none of these attempts have been successful, the majority of banks have dismissed applications on the first mention of Syria, or Lebanon, with only one bank, and only after intervention from Caroline Lucas MP, affording FSWL the courtesy of a meeting. After much delay and evasion this was also finally rejected. Without a bank account, FSWL can not function sustainably, we can not apply for grants, we can not claim gift aid, we can not accept checks nor interact with many other organisations. And so we are left with little other choice but to close as a charity. Although this saddens us deeply, we are, in reality, not surprised. We have come to expect such systematic discrimination as a matter of course from the current establishment, one where a bank who is caught laundering millions of dollars escapes with a fine, but when a small charity needs to get money to refugees, that same bank refuses to help because of its anti-money laundering policy. The hypocracies run deep! So where do we go from here? We are of course as passionate as ever about this crisis, and just because the FSWL is to close as a charity, it does not mean the work is done. So firstly, FSWL would like to encourage everyone to continue to hold the exhibitions, talks, promote FSWL book which is written by the children living in Al-Abrar refugee camp, and raise awareness of the ongoing crisis. To facilitate this, FSWL will aim to provide a free online toolkit containing high quality prints and powerpoint presentation that will enable anyone to put on their own exhibition. Baraa Ehssan Kouja will still give talks when needed. FSWL will operate with activities such as art exhibitions and presentations whenever needed as an initiative, without the fundraising element. Secondly, although we are unable to take any future donations, if anyone would like to support refugees in Syria, we would suggest they donate to Takafel Al-Sham (details below), a charity we have worked closely with who is based in Turkey and operates inside Syria. Finally, we would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has ever helped with FSWL. The previous trustees and volunteers, we know it has been tough at times and it has not always been smooth sailing, but FSWL could not have got far without you. Also the many thousends of supporters we have had in our short time, those that have donated, those that have held exhibitions and talks and read the book, those that have kept encouraging us to continue our work, those that have given us, and more importantly, those suffering inside Syria, the support when needed. It is that sense of cummunity and support that has defined FSWL, and we hope that even though the charity may cease to exist, that this community, through ongoing talks and exhibitions can keep that message alive, to remind others that the dreams of child refugees are no different to those of other children and to keep working in the hope that one day this war will end. With much Love and Peace. Baraa, Justyna & Tom
Our aim is to provide children with better opportunities to stop them becoming a lost generation through building and sponsoring schools
We believe in turning beneficiaries into self sufficient productive individuals, in order to restore self-confidence and find long term solutions
We are well positioned to respond quickly and efficiently to emergency situations where bureaucracy prevents many organizations getting involved!
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