Emerging from the rubble and desperation of the Syrian war, the Syria Civil Defense, otherwise known as the White Helmets, are a grassroots charity organization that continues its efforts in a country many have already forgotten. Comprised of former tailors, bakers, teachers, and many other everyday citizens, these volunteer rescue workers have already saved the lives of over 73,530 Syrians.
In a rebel-controlled region where public services are either nonexistent or non-functioning, the White Helmets have stepped up to the plate for their country and their fellow men. Their iconic white workman’s helmets have become a symbol of hope for a nation with little hope left.
Their motto is a line taken from the Quran, “to save a life is to save all of humanity.” The relentless efforts of these unarmed volunteers show that in a world that seems more violent than ever, the path of peace can prevail.
In addition to their life saving efforts, the White Helmets conduct repair work such as securing damaged buildings, repairing electrical and water services, firefighting, storm relief, and clearing roads. They also teach children safety measures when dealing with unexploded hazards.
The White Helmets were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and although ultimately they were not selected, they garnered the support of over 133 organizations.
The White Helmets were also the subject of a 2016 short documentary of the same name that garnered critical acclaim for its depiction of the crisis in Syria. The documentary revealed much about the Syrian war, most shockingly the prevalent use of banned war tactics.
The UN Security Council banned barrel bombs and other indiscriminate weapons in 2014, the White Helmets webpage explains. Since the ruling, thousands of barrel bombs have been dropped, killing thousands of men, women, and children. Raed al Saleh, head of the White Helmets says, “Syrians are killed everyday with various kinds of weapons, but the deadliest ones are the barrel bombs because of their indiscriminate nature.” To date, 159 White Helmets have been killed in the effort to save lives.
The White Helmets continue their efforts in war ravaged Syria, with the hope that soon the crisis will come to a close. Until that day, they need all the support they can to continue their humanitarian efforts. If you’d like to support the Syria Civil Defense, you can click the link below to their webpage.
DONATE HERE: https://www.whitehelmets.org/en