What's happening now?
Caught between violent and radical groups, opposition groups and a government committing serious violations of human rights, millions of Syrians have lost their lives and their homes since the conflict began in 2011.
A staggering estimated 6.7 million people in Syria are internally displaced, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, and a further 5.6 million have fled and became refugees, sheltering in nearby countries like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Many attempt the dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe, leaving many with psychological trauma often difficult to heal from”.
While the battle against ISIS is reported to be waning, there have been years of brutal sieges, horrifying bombings, and chemical weapons attacks. The war is still not over, there are an immeasurable number of people who have been forcibly disappeared and tortured, and the government and allied forces have carried out indiscriminate aerial attacks on civilians and civilian objects, killing and injuring hundreds of people in Idlib and Hama in north-west Syria
In Syria, we are focusing our efforts on supporting local efforts to rebuild social cohesion and support recovery between traumatized communities.
Since 2020, we have been partnering with Hurras, whose work in Idlib began in response to the need to provide urgent and critical protection to Syrian children; among the most affected by the Syrian war.
We are working with Hurras to support their civilian protection and emergency response work, as well as their efforts to respond to COVID-19.
Mistrust, tension and prejudice can exist between host and displaced communities experiencing and recovering from conflict. Hurras are working in Idlib to improve relationships and attitudes between host and displaced communities, by setting up local and youth committees, several of which are women-led. The committees are developing community initiatives to help build positive relationships and trust between host and displaced communities, and to engage young people in community and social life.
Recently they rebuilt a well shared between the IDP and host communities, vital for good relations but also for survival and basic health and sanitation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Peace Direct’s support, hygiene kits were “gifted” from one community to the other, distributed by the youth and accompanied with messages of solidarity and peace. This is what real, locally-led peacebuilding looks like.
In their words: Muhammad's story
“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.”