ShelterBox School Equipment In Aleppo Classrooms

Students at Orem School near Aleppo with their ShelterBox school materials (via implementing partners Hand in Hand for Syria)

Students at Orem School near Aleppo with their ShelterBox school materials (via implementing partners Hand in Hand for Syria)

 

Children whose families are on the run from conflict in Syria have been described as a generation lost to education. ShelterBox is helping to bring refugee children back into the classroom.
In the last four years, up to a fifth of Syria’s school buildings have been destroyed, militarized, or pressed into service as refugee shelters for families displaced from their homes.
A report published last month by Save the Children said that Syria, a country which once had a 100% school enrolment rate, now has 2.8 million children out of school, the second worst attendance rate in the world. It also reported that almost half of refugee families rely partly or entirely on income from sending their school-age children to work.
This education crisis, described by some as creating a potential “lost generation,” is just one aspect of years of unrest in Syria, where an estimated 6.5 million people have been displaced. With long-term partner charity Hand in Hand for Syria, ShelterBox has been sending truckloads of aid deep into Syria, containing tents, shelter repair kits, mosquito nets, water filters and carriers, blankets, groundsheets and solar lamps.
Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and its industrial and financial center. It is also one of world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, mentioned in Egyptian texts from the 20th Century BC. But these days it is a city divided, where intensive aerial bombing of rebel-held parts of the city has caused thousands of casualties, and an exodus to country areas.
ShelterBox Chief Executive Alison Wallace says, “One can only imagine what life is like for families in Aleppo and elsewhere across war-torn Syria. Their youngest children have known nothing but war in their short lives.

“The scale of need is vast, but I am immensely proud of ShelterBox’s ability to reach a helping hand into this hostile environment. These photos show the difference our aid is making, with the help of our generous supporters and our distributing partner. It is so rewarding to be able to put smiles on these children’s faces.”

Distinctive red and blue SchoolBoxes contain essential supplies for teachers, including wind-up radios that also charge mobile phones, and school equipment for 50 children. They also include blackboard paint and a brush – these two items alone can transform any flat surface into a focus for learning. School packs, in bright yellow material bags, contain stationery, pens, calculators, drawing and math equipment. They are often a source of pride for young people who have lost most of their personal possessions.

Trying To Ease Suffering In Syria And Iraq Kurdistan

IRAQ KURDISTAN. AUGUST 2013. ShelterBox has been helping Syrian refugees in Iraq Kurdistan for over two years. (Simon Clarke/ShelterBox)

IRAQ KURDISTAN. AUGUST 2013. ShelterBox has been helping Syrian refugees in Iraq Kurdistan for over two years. (Simon Clarke/ShelterBox)

ShelterBox is striving to help families who have been forced from their homes due to conflict but remain within the borders of their own countries in Syria and Iraq.   
These internally displaced persons (IDPs) are just some of the 33.3 million that the United Nations estimates to be the IDP global population in their latest report.
A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in northern Iraq. Reports state that fighting between militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and pro-government forces are driving hundreds of thousands of families from their homes, particularly in Mosul, to seek safety and shelter in Iraq Kurdistan’s peaceful cities of Erbil and Duhok.
ShelterBox has a team in Iraq Kurdistan meeting with partner aid agencies to see how it can support the humanitarian response, and shelter IDPs.
‘Families will be made to uproot again’
‘The IDP situation here is fluid,’ said one of ShelterBox’s operations coordinators currently in the country.  ‘Some families have already returned to Mosul but the fighting is expected to continue, which would increase the number of people in need in the days and weeks to come.
‘Coordination with other aid agencies and government bodies is key in this response to avoid duplications in aid efforts and help those in need more effectively and efficiently.’
IRAQ KURDISTAN. SEPTEMBER 2013. Coordination with other aid agencies has been imperative in ShelterBox's responses in Syria and Iraq Kurdistan. Here is ShelterBox response team member Torstein Nielsen checking tents with local Kurdish partner Barzani Charity Foundation. (ShelterBox)

IRAQ KURDISTAN. SEPTEMBER 2013. Coordination with other aid agencies has been imperative in ShelterBox’s responses in Syria and Iraq Kurdistan. Here is ShelterBox response team member Torstein Nielsen checking tents with local Kurdish partner Barzani Charity Foundation. (ShelterBox)

Meanwhile in Syria there are thought to be 6.5 million displaced people alone where ongoing conflict also causes families to be uprooted several times. Men, women and children face violence daily as they remain within an active conflict zone. Access to food, water, shelter and medical care is often limited as it’s hard for aid agencies to reach them.
Two trucks of ShelterBox aid en route to Syria
However ShelterBox has been providing vital aid to Syrian IDPs for over two years now by working with partner humanitarian organisations that already have a presence in the country.
‘We have just sent two more trucks of ShelterBox aid that will be delivered to IDPs in Syria by our long-term partner charity Hand in Hand for Syria,’ said ShelterBox operations coordinator Sam Hewett. ‘Tents are en route now along with Shelter Repair Kits, mosquito nets, water filters and carriers, blankets, groundsheets, SchoolBoxes and solar lamps.’
‘At first glance this UN report seems to describe a hopeless situation, with conflict on the rise globally, and numbers of refugees at a record high,’ said ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace. ‘But here, at ShelterBox, our outlook is hopeful because we have the means and experience to help provide families with shelter and essential equipment.
‘The numbers may be daunting, but that positive outlook reflects the attitude of our supporters, who give so generously because they are moved by the plight of these families on the run. ShelterBox is dedicated to doing all it can, wherever it can, to ease the suffering of those fleeing conflict.’
Thank you. 

ShelterBox brings hope to Syrian children

ShelterBox's implementing partner Hand in Hand for Syria distributing children activity packs to affected children in southern Idlib, Syria, June 2013.

ShelterBox’s implementing partner Hand in Hand for Syria distributing children activity packs to affected children in southern Idlib, Syria, June 2013.

 

As millions of fearful children in Syria are being exposed to violence and conflict, ShelterBox is working to bring a sense of comfort and normality to some of them by providing children activity packs. 
Schools in Syria have been attacked and both the army and opposition fighters have used the buildings as military bases and detention centres, according to Human Rights Watch.
‘Syrian children have had to face things in the horrors of war that no child should have to bear – interrogated, targeted and attacked,’ Priyanka Motaparthy, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report, said in a statement. ‘Schools should be havens, but in a country that once valued schooling, many Syrian children aren’t even getting basic education and are losing out on their future.’
Education facilities have become military targets putting children in danger and deterring them from attending school. Now, at least one in five Syrian schools is no longer running as they are said to be destroyed, damaged or sheltering people fleeing violence.
 
Right to education
‘To continue with their right to education, children are studying in makeshift schools informally set up by activist groups and civilian councils, but they lack teaching resources,’ said Ross Preston, ShelterBox Head of Operations. ‘We therefore sent a truckload of aid into Syria which included our SchoolBoxes containing stationary and activities for over 1,000 children.’
Read more here: Hand in Hand
You can donate here: PLEASE DONATE

 

ShelterBox Aid Arrives in Syria For Displaced

Syrian refugees in Lebanon, May 2013.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon, May 2013.

 

As civil war carries on in Syria and the dynamic security situation continues to deteriorate in the surrounding region, ShelterBox has partnered with Hand in Hand for Syria (HIHS) to get vital humanitarian aid to people internally displaced inside Syria.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), some 6.8 million people have been forced from their homes in the war-torn country having been exposed to violence and unremitting fighting. Many now remain within the borders with no home to go to and no possessions.
It’s extremely difficult for most humanitarian organisations to carry out their work and help people in Syria due to its dangerous environment. However ShelterBox teamed up with HIHS, one of the few charities that has a presence within Syria, to deliver essential aid to Syrians desperately in need.
‘HIHS operates through a distribution network of local aid workers to reach communities across Syria,’ said Faddy Sahloul, Chairman and Founder of HIHS in the UK.
The ShelterBox aid items to be distributed to internally displaced people in Syria.

The ShelterBox aid items to be distributed to internally displaced people in Syria.

 

‘In practice this means when we receive aid into our warehouses in Syria, we pack it down accordingly to our assessments on which areas are in need, and liaise with the various teams around the country to come and collect and then distribute it.
 
‘Distribution discretely’
‘Obviously this is a very simplified description, in practice the security situation makes it extremely complex because so many different variables need to be taken into consideration such as planning routes to avoid active conflict zones, doing the distribution discretely so as not to draw attention to the aid, and making sure the civilian shelters remain unidentifiable so that they do not become potential targets.’
The ShelterBox aid, which includes water carriers and filters, insect nets, solar lamps, kitchen sets and children’s activity packs, is now in HIHS’s warehouse in Syria and distributions should begin this week.
‘Survival’
‘It’s taken a lot of research to find this very rare route to get aid into Syria itself,’ added Sam Hewett, ShelterBox Operations Coordinator. ‘With how hard it is for charities to access humanitarian space there and move around, I believe ShelterBox is one of the few that is helping Syrian families by bringing them non-food items, fundamental to their comfort and survival.’
Meanwhile ShelterBoxes continue to be distributed by a network of implementing partners in Lebanon to Syrian refugees. Please continue to help us help others around the world by donating today.

 

 

ShelterBox Sends Much-Needed Aid into Syria

ShelterBox aid being loaded onto truck at its headquarters in Cornwall, UK, before heading to Syria via Turkey, April 2013.

ShelterBox aid being loaded onto truck at its headquarters in Cornwall, UK, before heading to Syria via Turkey, April 2013.

 

After 18 months helping on the borders of Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, ShelterBox has now found another way of getting aid into Syria itself via Turkey to help families displaced by the ongoing conflict. 

The ShelterBox Operations team has been studying the Hatay and Kilis regions between Turkey and northern Syria, and talking to humanitarian partners in the area. They believe they have now found a route that will get vital equipment across the borders into Syria to families in need.

According to the Humanitarian Information Unit an estimated 3.6 million people in Syria have been forced from their homes, but are still within the country’s borders. They are living in fear and desperately in need of basic aid.

United Nations envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said: ‘Yes, this situation appears to be totally hopeless, with no light to be seen at the end of a long tunnel Syria is lost in… Almost 50 percent of the Syrian population are being gravely affected by the conflict. I wonder if this is not a depressing record in the history of conflict.’

While the distribution of ShelterBoxes in Lebanon and Jordan continues, the charity has now made a strategic decision to send ‘non shelter items’ into Syria – including water purification equipment, water carriers, insect nets, solar lamps, kitchen sets and SchoolBoxes containing children’s packs and activities. There are fears that tents supplied in the familiar green ShelterBoxes may draw attention, making displaced families a target for snipers or looters. So difficult choices have had to be made about which lifesaving items can safely be distributed without endangering the recipients.

Aid leaves today 

The first truckload of aid leaves the charity’s headquarters in Cornwall, UK, today to begin its 3,000 mile journey and is expected to reach the Syrian border in around 10 days. If successful, this new aid ‘pipeline’ will see final distribution within Syria by implementing partner Hand in Hand for Syria.

Read more here: TURKEY

You can donate here: PLEASE DONATE