Saturday, February 22, 2014

Worry and Hope for the Big Wide World

The goings on in the world, they can really make me quite sad. The amount of evil that humankind inflicts upon itself. I will never understand how we do these things to each other.

I flicked onto one of those great photos from history links the other day, I really love them. But this one, as I flicked through the moments from the last 100 years, I thought, wow, that would never happen now.

This image is the least confronting, don't click if you are uncomfortable with more brutal images.

We would never sit by and let people be herded up and murdered, tortured, gassed, starved, placed in camps, bashed by camp guards, abused. No. The new world would never do that.

But we do. We do.

Then I got an email from UNICEF PR asking if I would share the story of the children in Syria right now. They want to share the story with the world so much. They need you to know the story. They want you to know what is happening. And that you can help.

I am happy to share this international story. So far from our own lives, but still so important. When the sadness of the world overwhelms me, I must always remember that there is hope.

My knowledge of Syria was limited, so the following was written for me by the team at UNICEF.

What part can you play to help the children of the Syria Crisis?

This March will mark the start of the fourth year of Syria’s turmoil. Protests began against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime back in March 2011, and one a half years later the situation had escalated so far as to be declared a civil war by the international Red Cross.

During the three years of conflict, United Nations estimates put the death toll in Syria at more than 100,000. More than two million refugees have fled Syria, and more than four million are displaced within Syria, three-quarters of which are women and children.

The UN stopped updating its Syrian death toll in July 2013, as it could no longer verify its information, while the number of Syrian refugees and displaced Syrians within their own country is feared to be much higher than official figures state, as it’s near impossible to track all movement within this war-torn country.

The children of Syria

It’s estimated that more than five million children have been affected by the Syria Crisis, and the threats they face in everyday life are numerous. From the violence of war, to the dangers and disease it brings, to the lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate nutrition.

Many of the children affected by the Crisis have witnessed or experienced horrific violence, leading to trauma and the increased chance of exposure to abuse. Large numbers have also been recruited into child labour, child militia, and early marriages.

With more than a third of all hospitals closed, it is also extremely difficult to access healthcare. Many of the children affected don’t have access to shelter, sanitation, clean water, food, medicine and the basics many of us take for granted.

There is also the issue of education. One in five schools in Syria have been damaged, destroyed, or are being used for other purposes. In countries around Syria, resources to educate refugees is stretched to the point many can no longer accept children wanting to attend.

More than three million children have left school in Syria, and thousands more have not enrolled despite reaching school age. This not only sets back the individual education and prospects of each child not attending school, it also risks Syria’s future.

What can you do for the children of Syria?

If you want to help the children affected by the Syria Crisis, you can donate to UNICEF Australia. UNICEF helps to provide the essentials these children need to survive, including food, clean toilets, medicine, schooling, trauma counselling, and shelter.

Your donation can make a world of difference to the children of Syria and their families.

·      $50 can buy clothes, blankets and other essentials for a family that had to flee their home and leave everything behind.
·      $80 can provide psychosocial support and trauma counselling for 14 children through community and school-based activities.
·      $100 can buy 122 exercise books and 1818 pencils to continue education for children who have suffered trauma.
·      $200 can buy 7500 high-energy biscuits to feed children who are suffering from malnutrition.

Visit the UNICEF website to find out more about the Syria Crisis, what UNICEF is doing to help, and what your donation would mean to the children affected by the Crisis.

Disclaimer: The idea of sharing a story like this and being paid for it makes me want to vomit in my own mouth. I refused any payment.  However a donation has been made by the PR agency to UNICEF for the Syrian Children on my behalf.


  1. It's so heartbreaking...thank you for raising awareness! How lucky are we to be born in a country like Australia and live the fortunate lives that we do?

  2. You are so lovely Claire :) I am off to donate now because this is simply heartbreaking. xoxo

  3. We have met a lot of people who've left Syria here in Qatar. The stories are beyond heartbreaking. xx

  4. Terrible, just terrible. We try to do our bit. I hope to never be someone who stands by not up. x


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