a message from The Syria Campaign

We raced past our target. Six ambulances funded, an astounding $100,681 raised. The women’s teams of the White Helmets will use them to drive to bomb sites and transport the injured to safety. You’ve helped empower women in their communities, you’ve raised awareness, you’ve inspired people to volunteer and ultimately, you’re going to save lives. Thank you.

We raised $10,681 over our target – this additional money will be used to buy fuel and spare parts for the White Helmets’ ambulances.

It’s been a bittersweet and difficult few days, and it’s with deep sorrow that I share the following with you. On the same day we met our goal, news emerged that four White Helmet volunteers lost their lives in Aleppo trying to save others.

On Saturday at 4 PM, Yasser Hindi, Omar Haj Ali, Ahmad Burghul and Hamza al-Mostafa finished their shifts and were heading home when they received a call about a car bombing at a checkpoint near the town of Masakan, just outside Aleppo. They were close to the site and rushed to help. They’d already begun aiding injured civilians when another car exploded, taking their lives and that of 15 others.

Another team arrived at the scene after the second explosion to help with rescue operations. Hamza’s father, also a White Helmet, was with them. He discovered then that his son was among the victims.

One of the volunteers killed in the attack was Yasser Hindi, a senior trainer with the White Helmets that I met in Turkey back in June. He’d trained over 50 volunteers inside Syria to save lives from the daily attacks that rain down on civilians. Like all the other brave women and men who do the job, Yasser, Omar, Ahmad and Hamza knew the incredible risks involved in their work. But they shared the core principles of humanity, solidarity and impartiality and were driven by their motto that “to save one life is to save all of humanity”. They join 27 other White Helmets who have died saving others.

Heroes inspire others. People like Yasser, Omar, Ahmad and Hamza have inspired not only those in their communities in Aleppo — they’ve reached every corner of our planet. They have inspired 1,481 of us from 71 countries to give a mindblowing $100,681 to power the work of their colleagues. They have inspired two Syrians outside the country to climb Kilimanjaro to fund another ambulance and buy protective gear for chemical attacks. They inspired a British volunteer to donate a further two ambulances and offer to drive them to the Syrian border. They inspire me every day and I hope they inspire you too.

This campaign shows just how much we can achieve together. The deaths last weekend are yet another tragic and important reminder of why this year has to be the year we do everything we can to  work together toward a lasting peace in Syria.

The Syria Campaign is building an open, global movement working for a peaceful future for Syria. We are people from all over the world who are coming together to tackle what the UN has described as “the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time”.

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