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Sandrine Steiner's Fundraiser:

Jasmine Project-Relief for Syrian children

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BENEFITING:

Sandrine Steiner

THE STORY:

On 15 March, 2011, a group of school children in the city of Daraa changed the history of Syria forever. Easily influenced by others, and repeating what they heard on the news, the children wrote on a wall, “The people want the downfall of the regime”. Bashar al-Assad's government responded by detaining more than 15 of these children. During their detention, the children were tortured, some accounts claiming they were beaten and had their nails pulled off, one by one. Many Syrians were outraged that the secret service would permit this mistreatment of children, and in response, they took to the streets and protested. Disconcerted by unrest elsewhere in the region, al-Assad's government responded violently, and attempted to repress protesters and arrested civilians. Over time, pockets of resistance grew, and the movement became increasingly more organized, transforming from a non-violent protest movement to a full civil war. The death toll has risen to more than 100,000 (latest UN stat in July, 2013) and the number of refugees is more than 2 million. Although millions of Syrians have managed to flee the country, many still remain. The number of internally displaced persons is roughly 4.25 million, or, approximately one in every five Syrians. (pop in Syria22.5 million).

The Syrian children are the most affected victims in the recent conflict. They have lost their homes, their friends, their schools and countless have lost family members. The Syrian children have sacrificed everything that is familiar to them for a revolution that they cannot even begin to comprehend.

After contacting some of the refugee camps and speaking with NGOs and UN forces involved I was told that there is a severe lack of educational resources and activities available to the children. Unsurprisingly, many of the children at the camps under the age of 8 cannot read or write. Today half of all registered Syrian refugees are children. Many of the children in camps have limited or no access to education, therapy or any recreational activities.

In collaboration with the Maram Foundation we are raising funds for two of their projects: The Al Hikma School that the foundation built at the Atmeh camp at the Syrian/Turkish border and their Orphanage project for Syrian children. Our aim is to support their educational project at the Atmeh Camp along with, trauma healing and healthy ways for coping with stress and grief.
The plan is for some volunteers and myself to visit the Orphanage and the Atmeh school project in November to see first-hand a) what is needed, b) make sure that the funds will be properly used; and c) help implement some of the activities in order to bring the children a sense of normalcy, ease their trauma, and allow them to be just kids for a while.

Please spread the word to anyone that would like to help the cause would be greatly appreciated. We believe it is important to empower the Syrian children, let them be kids and not victims, instill hope and put a smile on their face.

I am counting on you to support the cause by either donating the Jasmine campaign.

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Sandrine is working on selecting a charity so you can support Jasmine Project-Relief for Syrian children.