To help end the bloodshed caused by the Syrian crisis, you can:

 

Donate to relief efforts

When feeling powerless, everyone wants to roll up their sleeves and help out – but the truth is your money provides far more effective assistance than packing up coats or blankets.

The Syrian government has blocked UN aid shipments from entering Aleppo since the siege barricades went up in July. A list of trustworthy local and international NGOs working on the ground in Syria can be found here – but in particular consider donating to the International Red Cross, Save the Children, and Doctors without Borders.

 

If you have a specific skill set, volunteer your time.

Medical professionals have helped saved innumerable lives by assisting the beleaguered doctors and nurses in Aleppo by giving advice via Skype. Get in touch with US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a medical charity that operates all over Syria, for how to get involved.

If you speak Arabic and can offer translation services for aid organisations, contact your local branch.

 

Fund the White Helmets

The White Helmets – at least one of whom was reportedly killed by a pro-government sniper on Thursday as they tried to assist in evacuations – have saved 70,000 lives in Syria’s war by pulling people from the rubble of air strikes.

They have paid a high price: More than 100 volunteers have been killed since the organisation began as a loose collection of volunteers in 2013.

Support their work and the new Heroes Fund for the families killed volunteers leave behind here.

 

Join demonstrations where you live

In London, successful protests were held outside 10 Downing Street and the Syrian Embassy in London and in Liverpool and Manchester on Tuesday. Use the hashtag #StandWithAleppo to find demonstrations in your area – and if there isn’t one, organise one.

 

Call and email your MP and MEP

Let them know you want the government to do more than “condemn the violence.” Petition them to start aid drops for Aleppo and other starving areas of Syria, and ask them to consider measures such as sanctions or diplomatic repercussions for the Syrian and Russian governments.

Even in the face of the current crisis, the EU has taken discussion of sanctions on Russia over its actions in Aleppo – which were first proposed in October – off the agenda for a summit in Brussels on Thursday. Tell your MEP you want them back on the table.

 

Support the global refugee effort

Thousands of Syrians have died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, and many more desperate people will try before the war ends.

Tell your Local Government Association if you would be willing to foster an unaccompanied refugee child, and that refugee families are welcome in your area.

 

Follow the work of Planet Syria

Stay educated and up to date on the crisis by following the work of Planet Syria, an activist organisation which is seeking a diplomatic, non violent end to the civil war.

“Slowly, with the support of our real allies, we hope to reconnect with the tolerance and coexistence we have known for millennia and build a Syria better than before,” their website says.

 

[taken from the Independent]