June 22, 2013

This is not easy to write about: 80,000 people have died. Thousands more are unaccounted for. More than 4,000,000 are in urgent need according to the UN. That’s ten times the population of the city of Minneapolis. That’s more people than the entire state of Connecticut and more than Brooklyn and Queens combined who are desperately in need of shelter, food, or medicine just to survive. 


For the past year, Questscope and its partner, the Syrian Society for Social Development (SSSD), have been providing life-saving assistance to Syrians displaced or otherwise affected by the ongoing conflict. There are families that have been forced out of their homes two, three, four times. People with chronic illnesses are finding it harder each day to locate a pharmacy that has the medicine they need. Fear is the most common commodity, traded via rumors, news reports, and fighting that shifts quickly and fiercely. 


SSSD is on the front lines inside Syria. Every day, SSSD staff engage to make Syria more livable for thousands who have lost almost everything. Over the past 6 months, SSSD:


•Rehabilitated more than 20 shelters for internally displaces persons (IDPs) in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, and the town of Hasakeh, providing sanitation, hygiene, and kitchen facilities for families living in the shelters. 

•Provided psychosocial support to more than 300 children, youth, and families, enabling them to cope in a better way with ongoing exposure to their traumatic experiences.

•Assembled and distributed clothing and supplies to more than 3,600 individuals in Damascus.

•Ensured that 700 girls and boys maintained their engagement with learning by providing tutoring and informal education classes in urban and rural Damascus.


Despite worsening conditions inside and outside Syria, an increasing number of SSSD volunteers are continuing to make a positive difference. Boys and girls, young men and women, moms and dads are stepping up to help their new neighbors in need. We are able to sustain the good work of these volunteers through the generosity of our supporters.


By Mike Niconchuk, June 21, 2013