A message from the Chair

A message from the Chair

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Just like most of us, I first became aware of the plight of the Syrian people from pictures my TV screen. I watched in desperation and hopelessness as, night after night, images of people huddled together on overcrowded boats, or worse still, their bodies swept up on Greek beaches. Along with all of you I felt a mixture of disbelief, frustration, anger, guilt, powerlessness, and immense sadness. In January this year I heard about an event in Exeter called “From Danger to Safety”, which was provided to raise awareness of the Syrian plight, and challenge some of the myths that were prevalent on the media. As I left the house to attend, I remarked to my husband that I didn’t really want to go as I thought it would be distressing. In my head, I was ready to sit in the room and listen to presentations for an hour, then come back home to my comfy existence and put it out of my head.
Baraa Kouja changed that. Hearing him speak of the situation in Aleppo, the difficulties encountered by members of his family and his friends, and of the suffering and pain of the Syrian people, touched me greatly. No longer would I think of Syrians with pity and sorrow, but feel for them as fellow humans, people just like me, people with families, friendships, people who had loved their life in Syria before the war, and who were now suffering the terrible consequences.
6 months later, I am inspired by all that Baraa has achieved, not on his own of course, but with the support of many many people, who have worked with him, putting on exhibitions in the UK, and on the ground in Syria and Lebanon, using every penny of the donations given to meet the needs of  Syrian people in displacement camps and in Syria. On our own we can do little, but together we can change the world. I don’t know who said that originally, but the work of From Syria with Love shows it to be true. As well as the humanitarian relief provided to people in Syria and Lebanon, the work of From Syria with Love has a vital role to play in promoting racial and religious harmony in our country and the world. Both the book, and the exhibition of childrens’ pictures, bridge the gap between being British and being Syrian. Something about the simplicity and honesty of the children’s drawings touches the very essence of what it is to be human, and connects us as fellow citizens in the world. The book will bring the voices of Syrian children to the British, (and potentially worldwide) public, a gift from Syria, with Love. Channelling my anger and sadness into constructive work for From Syria with Love has enriched me.  Jo Cox reminded us that we have more in common than what divides us, and I dedicate my work as Chair to her memory.

Trish Oliver

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Twickenham, Travelling, and Toilets!

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Hello again!

This week, we have a lot to talk about! For this reason, we’re splitting the blog post into two sections: an update on our work in the UK, and an update on our work in Syria and Lebanon. This week has brought with it some great news, some exciting ventures, and new possibilities for the children in the camps. Find out more below about our progress!

UK UPDATE

A huge high point of our week has been the fact that From Syria With Love has gone global! Yes, that’s right! WE’VE GONE GLOBAL! We are absolutely over the moon to have announced and publicised our first global event in San Francisco on October 6th this year. If you’re in the area and would like to find out more, check out our Facebook page to see our upcoming events. Keep sharing and talking about FSWL and we hope to soon be reaching even more countries and wonderful people!

Furthermore, this week has taken the exhibition to both Twickenham and Salisbury. Baraa received a full house of people when doing his talk on Syria, Aleppo and the crisis, and Twickenham overall raised an amazing £440.40 in just two days. Next, Molly set up the Salisbury exhibition at the Salisbury Methodist Church on Friday, and Baraa joined her after travelling all the way from London in the early morning! They gave talks on both Friday and Saturday, with Baraa’s friend and Sussex University graduate Eyad joining them on Saturday too. Overall, the exhibition was a great success and many incredible people attended, generously donating not only their money, but also offering their time to help with volunteering and with the upcoming book too. We raised a total of £506.00 which is hugely exciting, and look forward to keeping in touch with all the amazing people who spoke to us at the event!

One of the most exciting things to come out of these two exhibitions is the promise of this £946.40 going straight to the Lebanon camps and to the projects we fund in Syria. We never take any management fees from the money we raise, and are proud to guarantee that 100% of your donations go to the children and the initiatives we have in place for them.

LEBANON AND SYRIA UPDATE

This week, we’ve received some amazing updates on what’s been happening in Lebanon and Syria thanks to the generous public donations and the dedication from everyone on our team. Firstly, we have continued our work on toilet cubicles for the children in the Lebanon camp. The camp itself lacks proper sanitation and the children struggle with a 30-minute walk from their current school on the camp to the nearest toilet. This is an unthinkable amount of time to take out of their education purely to meet a basic life need. We are now meeting their needs by installing toilet cubicles closer to their school building, thanks to an amazing donation from North Devon Refugees Solidarity (NDRS).

In addition, donations we’ve received have ensured that we can begin our work establishing schools inside Syria itself. The children in these areas have no current access to a school building, let alone an education. We have erected iron based marquee tents for the children to use in all weathers to host their classes. Keep an eye on our Youtube and Instagram for video and photo updates for these projects!

As always, thank you for your time, thoughts, and kind donations!

‘From Syria With Love’ Progress Update

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Hello from all of us at From Syria With Love!

 

It’s been a long time since our last update, but we are happy to announce that we will be back on our blog with weekly posts and photos. We love sharing our progress and achievements with you, and welcome to you keep an eye on this blog, as well as our other social media platforms (all linked below) to follow our journey with the Syrian people. Today, we are bringing a long-awaited progress update to you about what your public donations and our work have amalgamated to achieve in the Lebanon refugee camps and in Syria.

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Firstly, our work in Lebanon has been hugely fulfilling and positive, and public donations and the popularity of the exhibition has allowed us to fuel more time and money into the refugee camp and the lives of the wonderful people in it. We have provided 40 tent covers in the Al-Abrar refugee camp, which has enriched the quality of the material the tents are made of, hopefully making them warmer, safer, and more pleasant to live in. Furthermore, in the Al-Kadryah camp, we distributed clothes and shoes and hosted a party for 110 children. It doesn’t end there! We’ve also provided 35 food baskets for a camp in Ghaza (Lebanon), 75 food baskets for people living in “random” shelters (not in a supported refugee camp), and in abandoned buildings and rooms. We also provided 100 food baskets during the time of Ramadan for these same people living on the streets or in desolate environments.

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From Syria With Love aims to aid and enhance every aspect of life for those living in the camps and beyond. This means that we also fund medical help. We have funded one month’s worth of injections for a child cancer patient, heart scans for another child, an MRI for a woman in the camp, funded medicine for over 10 patients, and aided an arthroscopy for one patient. Additionally, we have provided glasses for a child, and a hearing aid for an elderly resident. The charity also strives to provide materials to make living in the camp the safest, comfiest, and happiest it can be for the people in these camps. We have provided a big water storage tank in the Lebanon camp, as well as provided a new door for someone’s residence. Moreover, we have provided wood for the winter for families and distributed blankets and mattresses. Plus, From Syria With love has sponsored 2 pop up empowerment workshops in the Lebanon camp, which we hope will ameliorate the moral and emotional well-being of the Syrian people.

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From Syria With Love doesn’t just work with the people in Lebanon. We extend our work into Syria itself, and feel extremely privileged to work with these people as well as those of the Lebanon camp. We feel hugely fulfilled by working for justice and comfort for people in a place where there is no support, and that the voices of these wonderful citizens are not heard or valued as they should be.

Firstly, we helped an old man in Syria who needed a water operation on the whites of his eyes, which cost around $150. We also aided three similar healthcare cases of endogamy. Children Aysha and Anwar and Marya from a village in Jeser Al-Shoghor take refuge in the Ta’akhi camp on the Turkish/Syrian border and they needed surgery in their ears to remove blockages that were stopping them from hearing naturally. The overall cost for the three surgeries was $170.

In addition to these medical treatments, we also helped a father of 3, Adelkader, who was awfully affected by an airstrike and had developed a temporary disability. He lives in the Abu Talha Camp on the Turkish/Syrian Border. He has no income to spend on his medical treatment or to support his children, his house was completely destroyed, and he ultimately needed physical treatment sessions to heal his right hand completely. These were paid for by From Syria With Love at a cost of $80. Also, we helped Jazwa from a village in Jeser Al-Shoghor. Her house was destroyed by the war and she lost two of her children, and she now lives in the Ta’akhi refugee camp and requires kidney washing at least twice a week, which we pay $11 every month for. We hope that these medical improvements for these people will help to improve the comfort of their lives, and we aim to continue to support them as long as they need.

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Our charity also sponsors three orphans in Syria that costs $49. You can meet these inspiring children on our Youtube account (linked below) where they talk about their wonderful dreams for the future. In addition to this, we have supported a clothes manufacturing workshop in Syria, and have sponsored the opening of 2 new schools; both of which are hugely exciting projects that we can’t wait to see put into action!

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To see an even more detailed breakdown of where all the money from each exhibition goes, please go to our website: www.fromsyriawithlove.com. As well as this, follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated with our work, and keep your eyes peeled for our weekly blog posts!

 

Thank you for your support, we value every single one of you!

How can you help ?

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The direct link between you and people in need, with ZERO management fees, in order to ensure reaching as much people, we only require you to share our page, and spread the word for good.

for any information about how you can get involved! or to donate, please do contact us at:

info@fromsyriawithlove.com