BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON SYRIA
What started in March 2011 as a peaceful demonstration by the Syrian people for more freedom, dignity and democracy quickly evolved into one of the bloodiest conflicts of our time.
For more than three years, the Assad regime has been waging a bloody battle against its own people. Official figures estimate that more than 300,000 people have died so far, but the actual figures are likely to be much higher. Tens of thousands of people have been arrested and abducted and nobody knows where they are and whether they are still alive. Many families have lost their main breadwinner. Furthermore, nearly 50% of the Syrian population (almost 10 million people) have been displaced by the bloody battles and bombardments – seeking refuge within Syria and in the neighboring countries Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. The UNHCR describes this as the greatest humanitarian catastrophe since Rwanda (1994). Yet the international community has been reticent when it comes to finding a political solution or delivering humanitarian aid to the Syrian civilian population.
Syrian refugees have lost everything in many cases and have often suffered the death of one or more family members. They left their homes months or even years ago and have been wandering around the country or have ended up in one of the refugee camps.
There is no end in sight to this conflict for now. The sense of desperation and hopelessness among the Syrian population is unimaginable. A generation of children has lost its childhood and its future is more than uncertain. It has been months and sometimes year since the children have experienced what should be aspects of daily life such as regularly attending school.
The Syrian people are in urgent need of aid and assistance. Our organization Barada Syrienhilfe e.V. is made up of private individuals who do all they can to help the people of Syria.
Reflecting our mission statement, “Christians and Muslims – Hand in Hand for Syria,” we want to build bridges to foster interreligious understanding and cooperation. Syria was always a country where various ethnic and religious groups could live together in peace and with mutual respect. In particular now, when various events and movements are threatening this peaceful coexistence, this aspect of our aid work is especially important.
Our assistance is therefore available to people of all religions, whether Muslim, Christian, Kurd or Alawite. Our work knows no religious borders. We work for the wellbeing of all Syrians – because suffering is not a question of religious affiliation or ethnicity. We stand by this principle