March 13, 2014

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

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

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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