SARC Stories

Building healthier communities in a time of crisis

By Vivian Tou’meh, Syrian Arab Red Crescent Abeer is pleased to be one of the hygiene promotion team: “I enjoy this work; especially I am in direct contact with people who need support and awareness raising in their daily life inside temporary shelters”, Abeer has seen tremendous change in people’s practices over the past month, “Those people have improved their hygiene and sanitation practices including washing hands after using the bathroom and before food preparation”. Abeer numerous responsibilities at SARC Tartous branch as a Hygiene promotion coordinator include conducting session discussions on safe hygiene and sanitation practices inside shelters for IDPs… Read More »

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 »

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