By: Valeria Ricciulli
An image of a child sitting in an ambulance covered in blood reminded us once again that the world has failed Syria and its war victims.
Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old child from Aleppo, was quietly sitting in an ambulance as he looked at his hands full of blood. An airstrike had just left his 10-year-old brother severely injured. He didn’t know it at the time, but his brother would be pronounced deceased a few days later.
Just like Omran and his brother, six million children continue to suffer from the ravages of a war they are not old enough to understand. The dust, the blood, and the tears, erase their childhood and what should be their happiest years of life.
Omran’s picture also reminded us of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian child who drowned last year while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea with his family. Images started to circulate the internet with both the child’s pictures: “if you stay,” reads Omran’s, “if you leave,” reads Alan’s.
Is there anything we could possibly do to help Syrian children?
Here are a few organizations that are currently helping them and that you could support:
- International Rescue Committee (IRC):
— IRC Intl Rescue Comm (@theIRC) August 23, 2016
Last year alone, this organization provided more than 8,400 Syrian children with safe classrooms and education. The IRC’s mission is to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian crises through health and educational programs as well as legal assistance: “The IRC provides lifesaving support to over 700,000 children trapped by violence inside Syria, pairing health care and emergency cash for families with counseling and safe places where kids can play and learn to heal.” Read more about what the IRC is doing for Syrian children, and donate to support their cause.
- Karam Foundation:
— Karam Foundation (@karamfoundation) August 24, 2016
This Chicago-based organization is giving donors two choices: helping children like Omran, who stay in the country through emergency assistance and by helping those who left through sponsoring a refugee child long-term. As mentioned on their website, a $50 monthly contribution will help ensure that refugee children have access to quality education and a safe home. Sponsored families will send updates in March, June, September, and December. Another way to help is to donate for emergency relief and helping children like Omran, who are still in the midst of the conflict.
- United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) August 28, 2016
“What human being can see the stunned suffering of Omran Daqneesh, and not feel an overwhelming sense of empathy? Can we not extend the same empathy to the more than 100,000 children also trapped in the horror that is Aleppo?” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in a statement. “Children of Omran’s age in Syria have known nothing but the horror of this war waged by adults.” UNICEF supplies food, water, education, and immunizations to Syrian children. In 2016 alone they have vaccinated 2.1 million children against polio. Learn more about what UNICEF does to help Syrian children and donate to their mission here.
- Islamic Relief USA:
— Islamic Relief (@IRWorldwide) July 3, 2016
The Islamic Relief has helped more than 3.9 million Syrians both at home and in Jordan in Lebanon. The US-based organization delivers medical treatment, provides food and hygiene kits, and donates medical supplies to hospitals. “At least half of those affected by the crisis in Syria are children–more than 50% of Syrian children no longer attend school,” reads the organization’s website. “For many of them, this war, which began five years ago on March 15, 2011, has been all they’ve ever known.” If you’d like to support this organization, use this link– or consider donating your car (!) find out more about this campaign here.