Imagine that you are forced to flee your home for safety, cannot afford to feed yourself or your family, and are praying desperately for help to survive the coming winter. That is the current reality for our Muslim brothers and sisters in Syria. Since March 2011, Syria has been engaged in a violent uprising that has taken the lives of over 40,000 and displaced another 1.5 million people.
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) has provided over $5 million in humanitarian aid to Syria since the violence began.
Two of our most recent programs in Syria are Udhiya/Qurbani 2012 and the Blankets for Syria campaign. During Udhiya/Qurbani 2012, ZF sacrificed 500 animals in Syria and distributed fresh meat in Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Dayr ez-Zor, Hama, Homs and Idlib.
As part of our Blankets for Syria campaign, we have distributed blankets in Homs and in Swaida. As of November 2012, we have distributed over 5,000 blankets to cities inside Syria.
Since March 2011, ZF’s work has included:
- Aiding seven field clinics.
- Supporting field hospitals.
- Running two ZF medical clinics for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The first clinic opened in Wadi Khaled, about half a mile from the Lebanese-Syrian border. We then opened a second medical clinic in Akkar, Lebanon, less than 4 miles from the Lebanese-Syrian border. Our clinics offer free treatment and medicine to refugees who do not have the means to pay for medical care.
- Distributing first aid kits and other medical supplies to civilians in Homs, Syria.
- Dispatching five trucks, each loaded with 1,000 food packages, to cities inside Syria: Two trucks to Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, a third to Idlib, Syria, and a fourth truck delivered food packages to Hama, Syria. A fifth truck delivered food packages to Syrian refugees in Kilis, Turkey.
- Distributing necessities including refrigerators, cooking gas, mattresses and blankets. Distribution took place in Homs, Damascus, Aleppo, Idlib, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to more than 2,000 families.
- Running an Orphan Sponsorship Program for Syrian orphan children.
- Providing housing to hundreds of displaced families in Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. We are providing housing for 500 people in Damascus and Homs. We currently have 100 homes in Jordan, 10 homes in Turkey and 150 homes in Lebanon, providing a safe place to live for more than 1,200 displaced Syrians.
You, the generous donors to ZF, have provided humanitarian relief where it is needed the most: inside Syria. We continue to pray for the people of Syria and for an end to the violence and destruction they bravely face every day.