Firefly International helps victims of the Syrian conflict become leaders of their own recovery, either as a refugee population integrating into a new country or as one waiting for the chance to rebuild their own country. Beyond offering the necessary funding assistance, we encourage and empower Syrian refugees to design and run the programmes that they and their communities benefit from.
The Syrian Crisis
Without a clear path to peace, violence in Syria seems set to continue. To date, Syria’s war has killed between 400,000 and 470,000 people and forcibly displaced more than half of Syria’s pre-war population – 21 millions in 2010. Over 6 million people are internally displaced, with another 5.4 million displaced as refugees in neighboring countries. Syria’s economy and infrastructure have been reduced to ruins, with 6 out of 10 Syrians now living in extreme poverty.
International donors were slow to acknowledge the humanitarian nature of this crisis when it first began in 2011. Even now in spite of the sheer scale of the crisis, international aid projects for displaced Syrians in Syria and Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries receive only about 53.5% of the necessary funding required. One of the key risks to people in Syria is international complacency from a sense of powerlessness, or whenever hostilities will cease, from a misconceived perception among the general public that the problem will be then over. Atrocities and destruction have reached catastrophic proportions, leaving behind deep and complex wounds to heal for future generations.
Firefly’s Response: Education Centre for Syrian Refugees in Antakya, Turkey
Over the past years, Firefly has been doing its utmost to support Syrian refugees in different ways. In early 2016, we stepped up our commitment by helping a group of refugees to design, fund and set-up a youth education centre in Antakya, the capital of the Hatay province in Turkey. The Hatay province counts about 1.5 million residents with more than 300,000 Syrian refugees.
Entirely run by Syrian refugees, our centre provides education and psycho-social support to more than 300 children a year. About 40% of Syrian refugee children in Turkey remain currently out of school, with enrolment higher in refugee camps than in the urban areas we target. Most of our children live in very basic accommodations and many have to work in subsistence jobs, such as sorting rubbish or working in street markets, to help their families raise money for rents. These children desperately need the hope and support this initiative is providing to find their way back to education and start building a better future for themselves.
Past projects Firefly has supported for Syrian Refugees include:
Kitabna – Firefly supported Kitabna with literacy training and project development.
Antigone of Syria (Mattar) – An open theatre workshop where Syrian refugee women have a safe space to express their bodies and minds.