Syria’s volunteers constitute the very core of the civil society and have integral role as key partner in community development in pre-and post-war periods.
On International Volunteer Day which coincides on 5th of December, the UN held a celebration marking this occasion under the theme “Volunteers build Resilient Communities”. It provides a unique opportunity to highly appreciate the efforts exerted by volunteers and non-governmental organizations and their great contributions to the local communities.
The concept of voluntary work in Syria has changed in order to alleviate the negative repercussions of the terrorist war waged against the country. Thus, the majority of charity events and societal activities aimed to provide support and help to the martyrs’ families, the wounded army personnel, women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderlies and displaced families.
A few examples of volunteering activities include “Together it Will Return More Beautiful” campaign organized in cooperation with Syria Trust for Development, the Revolutionary Youth Union, “Basmet Shabab Souria” association, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All East.
The six-month campaign helped rehabilitate several schools, health centers, public squares and streets in terror-affected areas such as al-Zabadani and the Eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside as well as the ancient neighborhoods and souqs in Aleppo city.
Head of the voluntary work office at the National Union of Syrian Student, Omar al-Aroub, told SANA that thousands of youths took part in different volunteering activities to convey a message that Syria is wiping out the dust of war with the strength of her sons and the heroic sacrifices of the Syrian Arab army.
Under the theme “Aware and Responsible Youth”, Basmet Shabab Souria Association carried out a number of initiatives and campaigns to support families of martyrs and injured army personnel.
The Initiative of “Imaar” targets the youth and it is mainly based on the idea of human-building as a step towards enabling individuals shoulder their responsibilities. Up to 600 university students benefited from 60 free training hours offered as part of the initiative.
Founder of “Imaar” initiative, Mohammed Zafer Zanzoul, stressed that volunteer work has been essential to the steadfastness of the Syrian society against terrorism and war.
In the same context, chairwomen of “Jouzor” (Roots) Association, Kholoud Rajab, said the universal war waged on Syria necessitated greater efforts to provide required support in order to confront difficult circumstances and build active human.
Rajab noted that the Association has always focused on sustainable and developmental projects to reach bigger number of beneficiaries through providing social and psychological support, protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse, empowering the youth, offering health services and launching a special program to care of persons with disabilities.
According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are 1500 civil and non-governmental organizations operating in different Syrian provinces.