According to the UNHCR, there are currently 25.9 million refugees in the world. 6.7 million of those refugees come from Syria. For some reason, the Syrian civil war has always struck my heart more than other conflicts. I think I began to really take notice of Syria when I learned that Syrian President Bashar Assad was using chemical weapons to attack civilians. I lay in bed at night and ask myself and God, "what can I do for the Syrian people?" I feel so helpless, like there's nothing I can do to make any part of the Syrian peoples' lives better.
As I began researching how I can help people in Syria, I discover the International Rescue Committee (IRC). I was blown away by the breadth of services they offer in more than 40 countries. I think the IRC does an amazing job at addressing all of the different ways that crisis and displacement can affect a person, including helping people find work, receive education, get medical assistance, receive counseling for trauma and abuse, and promote equality for all people, especially women and children.
I hope you'll consider donating to the IRC and learning more about the work they're doing all over the world.
Organization: International Rescue Committee
The problem: Humanitarian crises around the globe are displacing millions of people, shattering their lives and livelihoods.
"The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people."
The work: The IRC helps people affected by crisis with a number of strategies, including, but not limited to:
1. Providing cash assistance so that people can buy food, water, shelter and basic household items.
2. Providing access to early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.
3. Helping those who are recovering from conflict and disaster to understand their rights and make informed choices for their futures.
4. Enabling doctors to provide medical and psychological care to survivors of sexual assault.
5. Providing people with access to safe water and improved sanitation.
6. Working to break down barriers for women and girls and ensure gender equality.
The IRC offers many different services to address the array of problems facing people in crisis. Learn more here.
Who they serve: People whose lives have been upended by war, conflict and natural disasters.
How you can help:
1. Advocate - call your representatives, write letters, and share on social media.
2. Donate gifts - Purchase refugee survival kits, baby kits, or a year of school for two girls.
3. Volunteer - Search on the IRC website for various volunteer opportunities around the U.S. There are currently 198 different opportunities.
Charity Navigator ranking: 91.16 / 100. This organization has earned GlobalGiving Leader Status by demonstrating active engagement and/or effectiveness over the past year.