Lena Derhally wrote -
As an Arab American woman with family in the Middle East, I have often felt voiceless, powerless, have no representation in the political dialogue or in the mainstream media. I have also felt disregarded, dehumanized and unheard.
On the other side, I recognize my immense privilege: I have always been able to hide my identity as a white Christian woman whenever I want, I have never struggled financially and have always had amazing opportunities thanks to my parents. The one thing I always kept coming back to was the question of how I could channel my privilege into helping so many all over the world who truly do not have a voice, have no representation, no control over the bombs that drop over them, the starvation, the lack of medical care or the institutional racism that so many deal with every day.
So turning my powerlessness into power, my first Voices of the Erased Fundraiser will be raising money for UNICEF Yemen and Unicef Syria. The situation for children in Syria and Yemen is incredibly dire, tragic and overwhelming but we hope to bring many people together to help alleviate some of the suffering these children are currently experiencing. As a mother of young children, I feel especially compelled to help other children- we are all connected and I can't turn my back on these innocent babies.
Your generous contribution to this initiative will go towards UNICEF's programs to protect children and bring clean water, vaccinations, urgent medical supplies and education. Civilian casualties in Yemen are roughly at 10,000 in addition to the 14 million people who are starving. Over 3 million people have been displaced and need humanitarian effort. In Syria, around 400,000 people have been killed in 5 years and around 4.8 million people have been displaced.