SARC Stories

Volunteers who leave their real lives and professions to commit all their time to volunteering

by Vivian Tou’meh Abeer Shaker is a volunteer who decided to live separately from her family and join the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). Abeer, 28, has a degree from Damascus University, and she first volunteered with SARC at the beginning of the crisis. The crisis itself was the reason for her to take part in the humanitarian operation. “I know what it is like to be away from home. After almost a year of volunteering I had to travel to Germany because my family fled the war in Syria. I travelled for a short period of time and faced… Read More »

Volunteering and hoping to create a better future for all Syrians

by: Vivian Tou’meh Wafaa Malla Aref’s is a former Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer who is now working in al-Battani Polyclinic in al-Raqqah. Since the beginning of the events in al-Raqqah, only men were allowed to volunteer with SARC, it was strange to see a woman volunteer, but Wafaa broke the rules and continued her work. Wafaa her life as a Red Crescent volunteer was drive by devotion and the chance to make a difference to the lives of Syrians. The work, she says, has given her the patience to deal with difficult situations. “I started as a SARC… Read More »

Transformation through crisis: how three years has changed the Red Crescent in al-Mayadeen

by Vivian Tou’meh “Our life changed considerably during the last three years, now it is completely different. My wife and I lost our jobs and our children are now without a school.” With these words, Matar Hasan al-Sajer, a 45-year-old attorney and father of three girls and three boys, describes his life in a camp for displaced people in Saa’lo village, on the outskirts of al-Mayadeen city. “These places lack basic facilities such as water, sanitation, roads, heating, food, clothes and healthcare,” he says. In October last year, the SARC al-Mayadeen sub-branch teams registered 112 families in camps in Saa’lo… Read More »

Discovering the real meaning of neutrality in a highly polarized conflict

by Vivian Tou’meh Yaser Assaf, 23, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer and an Arabic literature graduate, describes how he never believed in neutrality prior to joining the Red Crescent and how his experience made him neutral. “I was only 16 years old when I joined SARC in 2007. In 2011, I completed a first aid principles course and an advanced first aid course. “Problems started in Deir Ezzor in April 2011, the situation was really difficult during that period, and there was an urgent need for first aiders. I worked for the Deir Ezzor branch in al-Joura, al-Qusur… Read More »

SARC supporting families torn apart by violence in Syria

By Qusai Azroni, SARC, Rural Damascus Five-year-old Aya spent the two hours on the road looking out the window of the car, asking ‘are we there yet?’ smiling for the soldiers at checkpoints and, asking her sister Yasmine, 14, to play. Yasmin, though, was occupied with thoughts of her mother. Where was she? Is she still alive? Aya and Yasmin left the city of Adra with their neighbors. Their mother was detained by one of the armed groups inside the city while trying to leave; Yasmin, who has thalassemia (a blood disorder) had missed her blood transfusion and the family… Read More »

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