THE DRIVE WILL END ON MARCH 22nd. Join us for a cultural event at LA PEÑA CULTURAL CENTER IN BERKELEY to gather as a community and raise as much money as possible for refugees from Syria
Urgent Action Needed:
Support displaced children and families from Syria in the refugee camps of Lebanon
Dear Friends and Community Members,
The situation in Syria has become one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history. The United Nations is now calling for $4.2 billion in relief for the people of Syria and those who have been displaced over the three years of violence that continues the devastate the country. The facts below highlight the urgency of the situation and our collective need to act and support our brothers and sisters in the region.
- More than 7 million people in Syria have left their homes
- Over 140,000 civilians have been killed, including 700,000 children
- More than 2.5 million people have fled the country, seeking refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and North Africa
- More than 940,000 Syrian refugees are displaced in Lebanon
- More than 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have sought refuge in Lebanon
- Children comprise over half the refugee population in Lebanon
The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) - Bay Area chapter and MECA
are calling for urgent action from everyone to help end this most recent nakba (catastrophe).
Coming from a community who has struggled for more than sixty-five years against continuous displacement, PYM - Bay Area stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Syria, and we call upon our local community to join us in supporting our communities in the homeland in combatting the detrimental effects of forced displacement. In partnership with the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), PYM - Bay Area is launching an online donation drive to help raise funds for education projects and community support for children from Syria in Lebanon’s refugee camps. The drive will last for two months, culminating in a cultural event at the beginning of March to gather as a community and raise as much money as possible for refugees from Syria. We hope to coordinate our efforts with as many individuals, organizations, and others who would like to help. The time to act is now. You can safely send any tax-deductible contribution, no matter how big or small, online, through the MECA website at http://www.mecaforpeace.org.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, millions of Syrians have fled their homes, with more than 900,000 of them seeking refuge in Lebanon. Among them, 80,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees have sought refuge in the already overcrowded and impoverished Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, where they rely largely upon the generosity of other refugee families for support.
To make matters worse for displaced families, this winter has been one of the harshest in recorded history in the region, leaving many without shelter, heat, or food. The brutal cold that has swept through many countries of the Arab world cannot be disconnected from the changing global weather patterns, most recent of which devastated millions in the Philippines with Typhoon Haiyan. Needless to say, it is the most marginalized populations that carry the burden of these crises. We recognize that our struggle is bound with the struggle of others across the many borders that separate us, and we cannot imagine justice for us until we have realized justice for all. With this in mind, we will contribute 5% of our fundraising efforts to NAFCON for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who also need our help.
The funds raised will go to support the work of Al Nakab Center for Youth Activities in Burj el Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. Al Nakab Center was founded in July 2013 as a joint project between Ma’an Youth Group and Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) - Lebanon to address the growing needs of Syrian and Palestinian families seeking refuge in the camp as a result of the protracted violence in Syria.
The center is entirely run by independent grassroots Palestinian and Lebanese youth organizers in Beirut and offers educational and cultural activities to Syrian and Palestinian refugee youth living in the camp, including English, Arabic and Math classes for Syrian students through its accelerated learning program. Many children who have fled Syria have had to seek alternative schooling to the Lebanese public school system, which is stretched over capacity and where integration into the Lebanese curriculum has been difficult due to language differences. Al Nakab Center has thus created a special accelerated learning curriculum for Syrian refugees in order to fill in this gap, and meet children’s educational needs in ways the formal schooling system cannot.
Designed according to the needs highlighted by the refugee families themselves, Al Nakab Center also functions as a resource institution for displaced Syrian and Palestinian families who need access to a physical gathering space and resources such as its computer lab, which provides internet access for families in the camp. As such, the center has been vital to those who now suffer from post-traumatic stress and isolation as a result of the refugee crisis from Syria.
The center needs $10,680 in order to continue its programming for the next 6 months. To find out more about Al Nakab Center, visit their Facebook page, or contact PYM at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.