By Muhammad Zulfikar and Dikanaya Tarahita
Surely, it is no exaggeration if one believes that what is happening in Syria is not just the problem of the Middle East, but the international community at large. Why is that? The answer is that the Syrians are deprived of their human rights and the situation is getting worse day by day. Civilians in this country are not only deprived of their rights to security and prosperity, but also their right to live.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that since the civil war broke out in 2011, there have been approximately 422,000 people killed and 12 million people forced to leave their homes. Those who remain in the country are cut off from access to basic human rights such as health and education. Every day, these people struggle to fight the hunger. Indeed, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency is a real threat to many people in Syria.
Seeing the facts above, many of us should feel moved to do something for these people. To only feel the pain of their suffering or to pray for them appear to be inadequate these days. But, as people who may live thousands of kilometres away from Syria, a question often comes to our mind: What can we do to help these people? Here are four simple ways to help the Syrians.
1. Get yourself informed with correct information
Before starting to lend our hands, it is important to educate ourselves about what is actually going on in Syria by checking out various information being delivered by different news channels, both print and electronic. However, not all of these information sources are correct or factually grounded. Therefore, it is important for us to rely on sources of information that are well recognised and come directly from the ground.
2. Raising awareness
Writing and the use of social media are also important ways we can use to help the Syrians. They can be used to generate public awareness on humanitarian issues in Syria at a much higher level. Searching for correct information as mentioned in step one needs to be raised to another level, and that is to distribute the information widely. There are many ways to do so, including writing on public platforms including newspapers and social media. It is important to keep in our mind that not everyone knows what is going on there. We tend to forget that many people do not have equal opportunity receiving and understanding information. In reality, there are many people out there who do not have access to newspapers, televisions or the internet the same way we do. This could be due to their lack of knowledge, economic condition or even negligence.
3. Give through local charity
At this moment, while many of us are able to enjoy easy access to foods, clothing, and shelter, our brothers and sisters in Syria are in dire need of help and assistance. Primary needs such as medical assistance, water, even food and emergency living supplies are either inadequate or non-existant. Let us set aside some of our fortune to make a donation through different local charities. This is something we can do to put smiles on the faces of those less fortunate than we are.
4. Support and participate in volunteering activities
Nowadays, there is a growing number of voluntary efforts to help the Syrians. In the UK, for example, many organisations are working to help the refugees that are coming in to the country. Others work to collect charities to be sent to the Syrians in Syria to those who have become refugees. Another important way we can do to help these people is by involving ourselves in these activities.
The humanitarian crisis in Syria is very real. Little is being done to end the rising death toll, and the expanding figure of hungry, homeless, and displaced. Even though the U.N. agencies have in several occasions released a slew of dire warnings concerning the situation’s gravity and urgency, it remains unclear whether anyone is listening.
Therefore, it is important for us to take part in relieving their suffering, even through what we consider as small acts. Because if the world remains silent, all of us must eventually continue to pay the price.