UPDATE ON SYRIAN REFUGEE COMMITMENT: Over the past year, Women for Women International has been able to witness firsthand the dangers and obstacles faced by Syrian refugees, especially women. We want to express our gravest concerns over the most recent travel ban. This ban and others like it endanger refugees. They have barely escaped war, and women in particular face threats of gender-based and sexual violence and early marriage in their pursuit of safety. In 2017, Women for Women International has pledged to expand our program to help more Syrian refugees. We will continue our life-changing and transformative work to help the courageous women and families escaping violence, in one of the gravest humanitarian emergencies of our time, rebuild their lives. Women for Women International is dedicated to working with the most marginalized women in communities impacted by war and crisis. Now is a time of crisis in many countries around the world as families are forced to uproot and leave their homes due to war and insecurity. We cannot turn our backs on them. Join us as we stand in solidarity with refugees.
One of the gravest emergencies impacting the world today is the Syrian refugee crisis. The stories reported by the people who’ve bravely escaped Aleppo are incomprehensible. Evacuated from a once thriving city that has been under siege since 2012, these innocent people are suffering with no clear end in sight.
The reality of Aleppo is a forceful reminder of the human cost of war. It steals not only lives but the dignity, hope, and dreams of a generation. Women for Women International has seen the carnage of war firsthand. Over twenty years ago, our founders saw the genocide of Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and were compelled to act.
Women for Women International is dedicated to helping Syrian people. Together, we can be a beacon of hope for the many courageous women who have fled in search for safety.
Women like Mariam. Until May 2016, Mariam lived in Aleppo when she, her husband, and young daughter were forced to evacuate because it had become too dangerous. Mariam was incredibly scared. She said, “We can’t do this, where can we go?” With hopes of safety, they boarded a minibus that was traveling to Northern Iraq.
Their escape was not easy and the passage towards the border was traumatic. Their bus was attacked by missiles and gunfire. At the border, the Kurdish army escorted Mariam and her family to safety. They relocated to the Domiz refugee camp, a place mainly populated by Syrian refugees.
It was in the camp that Mariam heard of the Women for Women International program where she enrolled immediately. In the program, Mariam learned about women’s rights and started seeing a counselor.
“It was heaven-sent to tell someone everything I had held inside for so long. To talk about my hopes and worries without the fear of being judged,” she said.
Mariam feels stronger now and is eager to start a small business to improve the lives of everyone in her family. Our program helped Mariam realize her strength again.
“People respect me now for standing up for myself. Women for Women International’s course has given me back the confidence and ambition that the war had taken away. I am a woman and not a number.”
Women for Women International is resolute in our commitment to helping more women like Mariam realize hope again. Upon raising additional funds, we will be able to bolster our efforts in Northern Iraq and expand efforts into Jordan by addressing the serious issues facing Syrian refugee women. From our decades of experience, we are dedicated to supporting people affected by conflict and assist these resilient refugee women build stronger nations in the future. Nearly half the population of Syria, 11 million people, are either displaced or have fled to neighboring nations.
Please join us today and support the Women for Women International’s work. Donate today and your gift will help women survivors of war in the conflict-affected regions where we work.