Risking it all for the sake of others, Syria’s Civil Defence, also known as The White Helmets, has saved more than 70,000 lives. Unarmed, these ordinary volunteers operate under dangerous conditions to search and rescue those caught in the crossfire of the country’s four-year-long armed conflict. What started as anti-government protests has evolved into a brutal civil war claiming a quarter of a million lives and leaving millions of civilians displaced.
Turkish students hold bundles representing dead babies during a protest in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to show solidarity with trapped citizens of Aleppo in Syria
In the past months when the conflict had escalated with no signs of a reprieve in sight, civilians of Syria’s once-largest city had tweeted their goodbyes, as they began losing hope that they would be saved.
In the wake of the new ceasefire deal to end the fighting in Aleppo and avoid a bloodbath, dozens of buses were packed with evacuees from rebel-held eastern districts in an effort to get to safer ground in Idlib, northern Syria. While the Syrian army has issued its “final call” for insurgents and civilians to leave, tens of thousands trapped in the besieged enclave are still waiting to be evacuated amid harsh freezing conditions.
People walk amid the rubble, carrying belongings collected from their houses in the government controlled area of Aleppo
With plenty of innocents stranded or displaced without access to aid, there are some ways for outsiders to help.
Fund efforts in saving and rebuilding Syrian lives by making a generous donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, or The White Helmets. You can also support the refugees by penning them a letter of hope.