The Big Girl Who Can't Read

Rahaf fled Aleppo with her family when missiles started crashing into their neighborhood.

They now share space with others in a communal shelter near Aleppo. Crowded, chaotic, crammed together.

She attends a temporary school there. Due to a learning disability, she is older than the grade level she is in. For other students, she is “the big girl who can’t read.”  It was very hard for 14-year old Rahaf when others made fun of her.  

Making friends was very hard, too. Teen girls, especially in the...MORE

Finding Refuge at Midnight

Last week – just after midnight – 1,500 people finally found refuge after surviving more than two years of siege. 

They traveled for days in crowded buses after they left their besieged villages. They survived a suicide bombing attack. And they arrived at our collective shelters in the middle of the night - women and children - physically and emotionally exhausted. They kept moving in hope they would find safety at the end of that journey.  

And when they arrived, our Syria team was there – ready and able to provide shelter and assistance.

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Update: Emergency Response in Syria

Overview

In late December, we sent out an urgent request for help evacuating families from Aleppo and the surrounding villages. After the front lines collapsed and the fighting ended, nearly 100,000 people were on the move from places that had been bombed and shelled. 

In the villages of Al-Foua’a and Driya, thousands of women and children were evacuated to safety in Homs after living under siege for nearly three years. 

They left with nothing and needed everything. You answered our call for help and raised almost $100,000 ‒ twice our...MORE

Humanitarian Crisis Update for Aleppo

100,000 people on the move away from places they have been bombed and shelled. A city of four million shattered, ruined, devastated – in the mid of winter.

Roy Moussalli and his team are there with them. Yesterday, they started receiving 2,500 sick, wounded and/or disabled displaced persons in an area near Homs, Syria. These individuals have just been rescued from a three-year siege of their two villages in an area around Aleppo. For three years, the only food they could get was parachuted in to them. No medical...MORE

Peace Trip in Homs

My name is Hatim Hamroush. My beautiful wife and I live in Homs, Syria with our three wonderful children. I lost the use of both of my legs some years ago and now move with a wheelchair, but I have never let my disability stop me. Instead it taught me strength and reminds me of all that I'm capable of overcoming.

I want to spread hope among people. I try to be the hand that reaches out to others who have also experienced pain and loss in order to help them stand. I show them that if I can overcome obstacles – anyone can.

In April, my friend invited me to join a cycling event...MORE

George in Pireaus, Athens

Thousands of refugees in the Athens port of Piraeus. Harrowing journey across the sea, first disembarking on the Greek island of Lesvos. Not everyone who left their shores made it to Greece. From Lesvos, transportation to the mainland, to Piraeus - the port for tourist cruise ships in normal times. Thousands: mothers with babies, families with small children, young people who left families and friends behind.

Giorgos (George) was motivated to go to the port to see if he could help. He is a sculptor who also repairs air conditioners in the depressed Greek economy - and himself the...MORE

A Report from Aleppo

The once-beautiful city of Aleppo has been host to some of the most violent clashes in Syria, with fighting in and around the city intensifying over the past week. Food and water are scarce. Missiles are falling on neighborhoods still full of families and children. And shelters are becoming oppressively crowded as more people are forced to move in search of safety.   

Our team is there with them. Through our network of partner organizations, we have hundreds of staff and volunteers in Aleppo.

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Refugee Update from Curt in Europe

The most overwhelming casualty for families, children, and young men and women forced to become refugees is to find themselves suddenly as survivors with everything familiar ripped away.   

Everything gone. Changed.  Total dependence on others for food, water, shelter, safety. No choices. No friends. The shock of the gut-wrenching loss of relationships is absolutely devastating. Visible effects - homelessness, friendlessness, hunger - are compounded by invisible effects - fear, helplessness, emotions - that tear at their very sense of feeling that...MORE

News from Syria

For the first time in five years there may be a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel in Syria. A fragile peace agreement was struck a few weeks ago that increases our on-the-ground potential to deliver humanitarian aid to more communities.

We are one of a few organizations with presence and a network of trusted partnerships in Syria. We have expanded with 1,800 staff and volunteers continuing to serve where we were and move into new places.

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Our Response to Syria - from Curt Rhodes

Syria is in the news a lot these days. And it's a place where I've spent a lot of time. It was a country of artists, engineers, teachers, people who had dreams and plans. Their children played under the shade of old trees along the edges of streets and their young people gathered in dozens of brightly-lit internet coffee shops at night. Before fighting broke out in 2011, Syria's population was 22 million. 

Today, half those Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. 7.6 million are now displaced within Syria and 4 million have become refugees in...MORE

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