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Marking the fifth year of the crisis in Syria

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
It is with great pain that we watch Syria complete its fifth year in conflict and with every year, we watch the conflict grow even more complex, the impact of which is now spilling over into many neighbouring countries, and more recently to Europe and beyond. The five year conflict has had, and continues to have a frighteningly devastating impact on the country’s infrastructure, peoples health, students education, and all aspects of the daily lives of the Syrian people.

With no end yet in sight, organisations such as Hand in Hand for Syria must continue to power on, and be a lifeline for those affected by the crisis, working faster as the situation worsens rapidly. Futility has never been in our vocabulary, and with time, our projects have grown and surpassed even our own wildest expectations. From our own experience, we have learned that truly anything is possible. What began as two tents on an empty piece of land, grew into a refugee camp, then an international aid agency that is at the forefront of aid delivery inside Syria.

At Hand in Hand for Syria, we have faced tremendous obstacles in the past five years, and working inside Syria has come at a high price – from losing our staff in airstrikes and working in the most challenging conditions, to fearing for the wellbeing and safety of our hospitals and all those we support. Despite the grave situation, we are hopeful that the Syrian people will be able to one day return to safety and security – which is why we focus so much on rebuilding now.

Hand in Hand for Syria holds dignity at the core of its values and principles. We do not see those we support as mere beneficiaries, we do not see them as our dependents. We see them as humans, humans we engage and work with, humans we  support when they have lost the means to support themselves. They are our partners, we respond to their needs, and we listen to their feedback.

We are honoured to have been able to serve local communities and provide them with essential services, that are often over looked. We are honoured to employ over 150 members of staff in Syria, providing them with employment opportunities and enabling them to build a career during the war.

And it is through our work on the ground that our principles around dignity continue, we tailor our projects to the true needs of the populations inside Syria. Whether education, sanitation, training, health and food. We meet the needs of the people on the ground, not just targets we have set ourselves. One day, we hope to see our beneficiaries lead a dignified life, to emerge as independent individuals who will help rebuild their own communities, and their country.