Social Campaigns, Writing
Comments 15

The Syrian humanitarian crisis and how you can help

150108-editorialImage source and credit,

This summer, we followed with increasing concern what I believe is going to go down in modern history as the biggest humanitarian crisis and consequently migration within Europe.

The Syrian crisis is unprecedented in modern history on account of a number of factors. The sheer number of people who have been displaced by ISIS. The enormity of cultural and humanitarian destruction caused by an extremist group, in a proximity to “civilised” Europe that is just too close for comfort. The extreme violence used by a relatively small extremist group that has caused a whole nation to shift and the complete silence, on the other hand, and lack of political, economical and military measures from the European and worldwide “powers” in response to this crisis.

Yes, “The Iron Frau” has opened the German borders from last night and has become overnight “mama Merkel” but the severity of the issue at grass-root level remains.

There are still thousands of families travelling for weeks on foot, crossing precariously the sea in flimsy dinghies, only to arrive on Greek islands where there is basically no local government provision for them due to the deep financial crisis the country is in already. They bravely continue to walk, or if they are “lucky”, get to use trains, boats, traffickers’ cars, vans, lorries and other means of transportation(there were 71 poor souls whose life journeys cruelly and tragically ended on a side road in Austria this week) , all in the hope of a peaceful existence, away from oppression.

Adam and Liz Gough, dear friends of ours who have been working as relief workers in Greece for the past three years, have started two weeks ago travelling back and forth to the border of Greece with the Republic of Macedonia, to the small town of Gevgelija.

11951140_868048353273563_1029513449938974488_nImage source and credit, Liz Gough.

Many Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis aim for the small town of Gevgelija as the first step on their train journey towards Europe. They all hope to be able to board a train for Belgrade, Bulgaria and then head further on to Austria and Germany. They arrive in overwhelming numbers, after days of travelling through the heat and with very little left, in terms of food and financial resources.

Their needs are basic, according to Liz’s update last week: “food, water, clothes and hygiene products (especially feminine hygiene and baby wipes) were the main things.”

Again, quoting Liz’s Facebook update, in order to cover these very basic needs, it takes only £2.50 to buy a woman’s hygiene pack (1 large pack of wet-wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, elastoplasts, miniature deodorant and sanitary pads) and £2 to buy a food pack (1/3 loaf of bread, a tin of meat, cheese, a large tomato, a cereal bar, a chocolate croissant, fruit and juice carton).

I am writing this post in the hope that we can raise enough money to send Adam and Liz for at least 100 hygiene packs. As a family, we are able to cover about 25% of the costs. Following yesterday’s post prompt,a number of friends messaged, offering to contribute too. Would you like to join in too?

Please click here for  details on Encounter Compassion, Adam and Liz’s giving page. They use PayPal and donating is only a couple of clicks worth of bother. Or, if you are not a techy person but you still want to help, please do get in touch and we will figure a way to make it happen.

Being able to offer a hand to these people, in their greatest hour of need, is the utmost privilege. It is with the greatest humility (and understanding that it could have been us in their shoes) that I beseech you to contribute.

Thank you all for reading and for your kindness and generosity.

ZA'ATARI, JORDAN - FEBRUARY 01:  Children pose for a picture as Syrian refugees go about their daily business in the Za'atari refugee camp on February 1, 2013 in Za'atari, Jordan. Record numbers of refugees are fleeing the violence and bombings in Syria to cross the borders to safety in northern Jordan and overwhelming the Za'atari camp. The Jordanian government are appealing for help with the influx of refugees as they struggle to cope with the sheer numbers arriving in the country.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 160600686

                                           Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


  1. I will bookmark this to make sure I donate to the PayPal. This crisis is so tragic and heartbreaking, I wil share this too. I have always felt it was nothing but luck that we are who we are and where we are, just a thought x

  2. Sarah says

    Absolutely the right thing to do – we have people near us collecting clothes, food and supplies too, particularly to be taken to Calais to help the refugees there. This is a humanitarian disaster and people need to find their inner humanity.

  3. A great post though I think Ms Merkel should think carefully before pointing the finger at other EU Countries x

  4. karaguppy2015 says

    I have been in tears watching the TV and reading the news. I shall head over and make a donation now. It is not much but if it helps one person then I have done something

  5. It’s a horrible situation. Many of the countries of Europe are suffering from a falling birthrate and from a practical perspective could do with taking more of these poor people. At the moment though the brunt of the problem is falling on the countries and the people who can least afford it.

  6. What a fantastic cause. Here in Bavaria, we have begun to see an influx of refugees, and to see how welcome they are being made is pretty heartwarming stuff. We were told on Tuesday when the first packed trainfulls arrived to stop donating stuff as Munich had donated so much the organisers couldn’t cope. Of course people will carry on donating when there is space again, but it’s made me proud of my temporary home!🙂

  7. It’s so good people (myself included!) have really had their eyes opened to this crisis. Of course I knew it was going on’s didn’t really hit home to me as it should have. Now like you I’m trying to do my bit to help x

  8. what a wonderfully informative post lovely, we have a couple a village over that is collecting products to take over in vans that have been donated so we have taken things over there.

    Seeing this suffering is horrific and really does bring it home how lucky we are!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s