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Solutions for Syrian Refugees

By Jacob Devaney on Tuesday September 19th, 2017

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Healing the Wounds of War

We have in our hands the power to alleviate suffering for millions of people. When faced with challenges, we have the option to choose between looking away, complaining, or doing something to contribute to the solution. Very few people approve of war but despite petitions, protests, and political activism, a few industries and individuals continue to drag us into them. This creates needless suffering for millions, and sometimes the feelings of grief, outrage, and despair in the face of the conflict can be overwhelming.

Though we may not be able to stop war altogether, we have increasing opportunities to alleviate suffering through simple, compassionate action. UPLIFT, Unify, and Rise Media have partnered with a few aid organisations that are making a big difference in the lives of millions of Syrians who have been displaced by the war. Here is your opportunity to be part of these creative solutions!

…with crisis comes opportunity–the opportunity for humanity to unify around our common principles of compassion, love, peace and service to others. This is an opportunity for our a global community to rise up and heal the wounds of war within ourselves, and collectively focus on healing the wounds of war in Syria. Join us in global synchronised prayer and meditation followed by high-impact, practical action campaigns to help those who need it most. ~ Rise for Syria

The Rise for Syria Campaignin partnership with the Syrian American Medical Society, UPLIFT, Unify, and The Great Silence–is a multi-tiered action, combining social action, crowd-sourcing, positive media, and spirituality (meditation/prayer) to make a global impact. UPLIFT is supporting through our Build Compassion Film that will air on September 21st. This is a beautiful synergy between artists, media-makers, NGO’s, concerned citizens, and social media to make an authentic and lasting impact on the lives of millions.

We can make a differenceThe refugee crisis feels overwhelming, but working together, we can make a difference.

Participation can be as simple as sharing some of these good-news stories, or perhaps joining or organising a local hub for the global meditation and prayer that occurs on September 24th at sunset in Syria, which is 12:30pm EST and 9:30am PST. You can also make a donation to show your compassion and help make the Rise for Syria campaign an example to the world. This illustrates that small acts of kindness made by thousands–or even millions–of people, can create a giant wave of love, compassion, and tangible change. Below is a list of empowering and inspiring stories of ways that people are making a real difference.

Baby Boxes

Over 30,000 babies are born in Syrian refugee camps every year. Perhaps the circumstances of their birth and conception were surrounded by tragedy, but a global outpouring of love is helping them get off to a better start. Many refugee children are sleeping on dirt floors that are uncomfortable and unsanitary. Soft blankets, baby supplies, and a box that turns into a crib will help a mother sleep better, knowing that her child has their basic needs fulfilled. Small efforts when a child is in this precious developmental stage will help the child to grow up with less trauma and stress, and become a more healthy, adjusted person. You can learn more about this hopeful program here.

Underground Hospitals

It is heartbreaking that terrorists have targeted hospitals in the region but the response to this tragedy will restore your faith in humanity. Individuals around the world, who wish to make the statement that love can overshadow the horrors of war, have contributed to a program that is building underground hospitals. These facilities are safe from bombs, giving doctors and patients a safe and functional environment for healing.

Baby Boxes are lifting spiritsBasic needs–like a clean bed for her child–are helping lift refugee mothers’ spirits.

Yoga Brings Healing to Refugees

Trauma from war zones can include death of loved-ones, physical wounds, rape, losing your home, being separated from family and more. This can leave individuals with deep emotional wounds, but yoga has been proven to help heal PTSD and restore a sense of centeredness and peace. That is why yoga classes are popping up in refugee camps, and are having great results. Though many people may not want to be in a refugee camp, they are resilient and are finding ways to make the best of their experience. If you like yoga, then you will love this story!

Cultural Healing

Music, art, and dance are not only proven to be therapeutic for emotional, psychological, and physical well-being, they often help people thrive in adverse environments. Consider the racial and economic tension at the turn of the last century that produced musical genres like the blues and jazz. Humans are resilient when faced with challenges, and the humanitarian crises created by the Syrian Conflict is a challenge and opportunity that many are stepping up to meet. Visual artists, such as Moustafa Jacoub, have released their pain while also expressing their hopes and dreams — this poetic piece is an excellent example. Likewise, music evoked many tears, as refugees formed an orchestra in Germany. Despite the narrow lens of horrific tales in the media, we have many reasons to be hopeful, and to participate in something beautiful.

Music soothes the soulSyrian refugees attend a music class at Harran refugee camp, in Şanlıurfa province.

Youth Take the Lead

In 2015, while activists protested war and immigration policies, 8-year-old Addie Tinholt created a program that teaches refugee women to become entrepreneurs. The #RefugeesMatter initiative was started by Addie with her mother, Zarah Rachel. The long-term social and economic impact of this program will be significant. Women are developing personal and community advocacy skills, conflict management skills, business and employability skills, and are becoming well-positioned to access business-related resources and services independently.

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Endless Possibilities

With so much talk about refugees taking from the communities that welcome them, individuals are creating endless ways that refugees can bring economic value and innovation. One program had refugees planting organic gardens in abandoned lots and selling the produce to local restaurants. Hopefully the above examples will inspire you and others to think in terms of solutions instead of problems.

Addie Tinholt helps empower refugee womenYoung Addie started the #RefugeesMatter initiative, which helps empower refugee women.

Global synchronized prayer actions had a powerful effect, as was shown with Standing Rock last year. On September 24, following Peace Day, we invite you to join a global synchronised prayer and meditation; collectively focusing on healing the wounds of war in Syria, as well as those within ourselves.

In America, millions protested Trump’s travel ban, yet if each one of these people were to donate a dollar, they would contribute to showing a great generosity, love and compassion to these refugees. Participation is simple and can be large or small, but despair, complaining, and looking away are not productive options. You can make a difference.

Empower yourself to learn more and be part of this global movement by helping to spread the good news that is being created right now across the planet. Visit the Rise for Syria website, along with their Facebook page and be the change you wish to see in the world.

Watch the premiere of the new UPLIFT film, Building Compassion, on the International Day of Peace, September 21. The film shares cutting-edge research into the neurology and cultural practices of compassion and features interviews with a range of experts including Dr. James Doty, Dr. Saamdu Chetri, Dr. David Vago, Scarlett Lewis and many more. BuildingCompassion explores how compassion is key to understanding what it is to be truly human and to creating a loving world.

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Jacob Devaney

Founder and director of Culture Collective, creative activist, musician, and producer.

 

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