The Syrian conflict has now lasted longer than World War II. As of 2019, an estimated 6.2 million people have been displaced and there are more than 4.7 million refugees registered globally, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The brutality of the conflict has shocked the world. There has been widespread use of sieges, indiscriminate aerial attacks, banned and chemical mass detention and torture. The devastating cruelty of ISIS, including its mass executions, has made headlines across the world.

In the face of such onslaught, there has been one consistent glimmer of hope: the persistence and bravery of civil society activists and volunteers working in the most dangerous circumstances imaginable. In the Idlib region of Syria, our partner Zoom In are one civil activist group working to rebuild their community.

What's happening now?

  • Caught between ISIS, opposition groups and a government committing serious attacks against humanity, millions of Syrian’s have lost their lives and their homes.
  • A staggering estimated 6.7 million people in Syria are internally displaced, according to Council on Foreign Relations.
  • There are an estimated 5.7 million registered Syrian refugees worldwide.



How we help


  • In 2017, Peace Direct began to support Zoom In to bolster their efforts to build peace and democracy in the hard-hit province of Idlib.


  •  Zoom In works with people from every level society to set up local councils, rebuild schools and provide children with an education and work to rebuild their local community in Syria. 


  • There must be more support to local organisations in Syria and globally, ensuring those building peace on the frontlines of war are visible, heard and given urgent support. 

Donate now


Project activities


Vocational training and psychosocial support for young people with disabilities as a result of war

Young people going back to school in Syria

Indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Syria has left many young people injured, with serious physical disabilities and often lost limbs. Many have serious physical disabilities and have lost limbs.

This is common in the northern province of Idlib where young people make up the bulk of the population. Most older people left the country at the beginning of the conflict.

These young people, particularly men, often work or travel in open areas leaving them at more risk of being injured.

Disabled young people find it difficult to adjust to the restrictions their injuries have on their life and their ability to work or look after families.

A comprehensive lack of disability support means they are left feeling isolated. This increases the risk of them becoming economically and socially disadvantaged.

Peace Direct’s partner Zoom In have created a pilot project to address this.

The project targets 80 young men and women aged 15-35 with permanent physical disabilities because of the war. It takes place in areas that have experienced recent and sustained airstrikes.

Importantly, Zoom In works with local organisations, activists and community leaders to identify those young people most at risk. This allows Zoom In to reach those not already registered, and not already receiving support.

Alongside vocational training, the young people receive psychological support to allow them to better deal with their disability and its effect on their life. Techniques around conflict transformation are employed to encourage the young people to deal with any anger or disagreements with family or friends in a positive, non-violent manner.

Zoom In staff keeps in close contact with trainees after the two month training period to monitor their progress.  Zoom In also aims to link the trainees to any opportunities for increase support, training or employment through local organisations in their network.


A public awareness campaign Zoom In ran to call for a reduction in the spread of weapons in Idlib, Syria.
A public awareness campaign Zoom In ran to call for a reduction in the spread of weapons in Idlib, Syria.


In their words: Muhammad's story

Zoom In’s offices have been bombed and their staff have been on ISIS’s kill list. They have been offered asylum in France. But they refuse to leave. In their words:

“The night after the explosion at our office we sat down together.


We thought that if we had worked more with youth, and inspired more people around us, maybe it would not have happened.


We got a positive answer to leave and seek asylum in France. But we all refused and decided to stay in Syria.


The least we can do is be brave and do whatever we can for peace.”




Support incredible local organisations like Zoom In


News from the field

Blogs, stories, reports and opinion

2019 Tomorrow's Peacebuilders Award winners announced

Now in its seventh year, the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards celebrate some of the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders. This year, a panel of international experts selected the winners from 406 applicants, the highest number we have received to date.Read more »

Tomorrow's Peacebuilders Awards 2018: meet the winners

Over the last few months, the Peace Direct team has reviewed over 300 Tomorrow's Peacebuilders applications from local organisations around the world; the highest turnout to date. Hosted at #PeaceCon2018 in Washington DC, we announced the three winning organisations, and celebrated the nine finalists.Read more »

The Syrian war left me disabled but that won't stop me: Mahmoud's story

Mahmoud is from Syria, a place torn apart by seven years of war. Mahmoud is disabled because of this. But that has not stopped him.Read more »