It’s time to stand #WithSyria

Saturday, March 15th marks three years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria.  This shocking video from Save the Children reminds us just how quickly any of our lives can spiral from normality into violence and terror.

ONE is focused first and foremost on Africa. But none of us can fail to be moved by the injustice facing Syria’s children today. The world has watched for more than 1,000 days as war has consumed this country and countless human tragedies play out on the news.  Like millions of others you’ve probably asked ‘How can we stop this?’ and turned to our leaders, the media or even Twitter for answers.

The statistics are sobering. More than 100,000 people have been killed, at least 10,000 of them children. 2.4 million Syrians have fled the country, while 4 million are internally displaced.  But 250,000 people are still living in areas under siege, their lives continually at risk. All together, 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Many have looked to Africa – a continent with a long history of flaring and resolving conflicts – for advice on finding a peaceful solution. The Africa Forum (a group of former African heads of state and government) have offered their view, exploring the root causes of the conflict.

In this blog, BBC Africa Correspondent Andrew Harding observes that Africa can claim “a rich history of negotiating its way out of all sorts of confrontations.” He compares instances where negotiation has proved the key, such as in Sudan’s long dispute with South Sudan, with other cases where military intervention has been used, as in Sierra Leone and Mali.

The solutions to any conflict are complex.  But what an increasing number of people from around the world agree on, is that we must not let the people of Syria be forgotten.

A coalition of organizations have formed the #WithSyria campaign, and are asking for your support. Here’s what you can do:

1. Tweet your support

It takes two seconds and will help raise awareness across social media.

2. Re-create Banksy’s balloon

Street artist Banksy’s iconic ‘Girl with the Red Balloon’ is a picture of hope.  Join thousands of others and re-create this image, then share it on Twitter or Instagram using #WithSyria.

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3. Share the #WithSyria video

Narrated by ONE member Idris Elba with music from Elbow, this moving animation inspired by Banksy’s artwork promotes the campaign and encourages others to get involved.

For information on all these activities and more, visit the #WithSyria website.