Right now, we are facing a shortage of individuals or families who can mentor and guide Syrian refugees as they settle in this new environment.
For years there has been a race to secure territory within the country. This has led to extreme violence and terror. More than 400,000 have died because of the Syrian conflict since 2011, according to the World Bank, with 5 million seeking refuge abroad and over 6 million displaced internally, according to UN agencies.
The Syrian government have launched chemical weapons attacks on civilians in opposition-held areas. They have also conducted attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, withheld humanitarian aid and have employed starvation as war tactic. The Syrian government’s practices of torture and cruel treatment in imprisonment and forced disappearances continue.
Non-state armed groups have also committed a multitude of abuses. The groups have launched attacks against civilians, abducted, and randomly detained activists, used excessive force to smother protests and inhibited humanitarian aid delivery. ISIS has reportedly used civilians as human shields and has employed the same war tactics as the government, which includes chemical attacks, starvation and human trafficking.
Neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, sought to curb the massive inflow of refugees with unlawful administrative, legal, and even physical barriers. Thousands of refugees each month returned to Syria under circumstances that are unclear. Authorities in neighbouring countries were unable to prove any wrongdoing by these refugees and they did not give them an opportunity to contest their removal or to seek legal help prior to their deportation.
After surviving extreme violence and mass starvation, Syrian refugees need your support.
Here in Calgary, we are looking for highly compassionate and dedicated individuals who are willing to help these people navigate life in Calgary. If you have the time to spend only a few hours with these families every week, we need your help.
To volunteer or for more information contact: Beata Lutaba at firstname.lastname@example.org | 403. 290.5752
Photo Credit: R. Procyk