‘Sleep out for Syria’ saw supporters to sleep outside, or in a tent, in solidarity with Syrian refugees and to raise funds for vital projects.
Monday 15th March marked ten years since the beginning of the conflict that has engulfed Syria, costing countless lives, and displacing millions more. Many Syrians are unable to return home, and have spent the past decade in makeshift tents in poorly equipped camps.
On Saturday 20th March, Manchester charity Human Appeal called on supporters to spend a night in a tent, under the stars, or anywhere that isn’t the comfort of their own bedroom, and to share their experience on social media with the hashtag #SleepOutForSyria.
One family that answered the call was North Leeds mum Naggina Asaf and her children Mariya and Muhammad. Naggina said:
“I took part in Sleep Out for Syria because I wanted to do something to show solidarity with the millions of Syrians who don’t have any choice but to sleep in the worst conditions. I loved seeing so many people taking part and it gives me hope that after ten years of war the world can come together to try and stop the suffering.”
Human Appeal has been active in Syria since the start of the conflict a decade ago, carrying out emergency interventions and providing food, water, sanitation and hygiene aid. Their Al Imaan Hospital for Women and Children is also the last hope for many thousands in northwest Syria, and carries out lifesaving operations as well as giving refuge to expecting mothers.
Dr Mohamed Ashmawey, Human Appeal CEO said:
“This small act of solidarity with the Syrian people will have such a huge impact if more and more people get involved. While we east, sit and sleep in our homes, there are millions of Syrians for whom home is a distant memory, and a generation of children is being born whose only idea of home is a makeshift tent.
“I am encouraged when I see people Sleeping out for Syria, and I look forward to Human Appeal being able to bring change to even more lives in Syria as a result.”
Fahad Khan, from Human Appeal’s UK Programmes Team said:
“I know I speak for everyone at Human Appeal when I say that I can’t thank Naggina and others like her enough for the effort they’ve made to support the Syrian people. It’s so heartwarming to see people doing their bit and I know we’re going to be able to change so many lives for the better because people decided to Sleep out for Syria.
“By working together we can rebuild Syria and make sure we don’t have to mark the next decade, and the decade after that, where more and more lives will be lost.”