Adventist News

Shining a Light of Hope

[Photo: Jonathan Hyams/Save The Children]

In response to the ongoing crisis in Syria, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia is renewing its appeal for support for those affected by the civil war.

Three years since peaceful protests and an uprising began in Syria, and following the brutal repression by the government, the situation has continued to deteriorate. More than 100,000 people have been killed, and almost half the population displaced. The United Nations estimates more than 9 million Syrians need urgent humanitarian assistance, including 6.5 million people forced to flee from their homes and living as internally displaced persons (IDP).

A priority during this crisis is to allow children to receive appropriate education to ensure the long-term rebuilding of Syria and the re-establishment of peace. Many children have not been in school for up to three years, and the impact of this will continue to be felt after the conflict ceases.

To meet this need, ADRA is establishing an education program for Syrian children to ensure their learning and development can continue. However, ADRA requires at least an additional A$100,000 to ensure these services can be provided.

ADRA has already responded to the crisis in Syria by assisting more than 20,000 people through a number of projects. In Jordan, ADRA provided cash assistance to Syrian refugees, including the elderly and families with young children, to help them secure accommodations; and also distributed warm clothing and other essential household items to refugees in the lead up to the region’s freezing winters.

In Lebanon, ADRA is providing women’s health services to 3,300 women, and secondary health services to 1,000 Syrian refugees living in temporary settlements in the Bekka Valley. This is ensuring vital obstetric and genealogical care, as well as providing medicines and treatments for those with serious illness.

A worldwide candlelight vigil at sunset on Friday, March 14, commemorated the three-year anniversary of the crisis as part of a global movement to end the violence. ADRA joined with Act for Peace, Amnesty International, CARE, Caritas, Oxfam, Save the Children, and World Vision to call on the Australian community to do all it can to ensure the conflict ends.

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