At the onset of an ongoing war & an exodus that has uprooted more than 11 million people from their own homeland by inhumane acts of terror; the Syrian war & its consequent refugee crisis is one of the most gruelling humanitarian challenges we have ahead of us today. According to UNICEF, ‘Syria's children hit rock bottom in 2016, with more killed than in any other year of the civil war. At least 652 children died - 255 of them in or near a school - last year, a 20% jump from the number killed during 2015’. Apart from these painful statistics, it is also to be noted that 7 million, which is more than half of the total refugees having fled from Syria, are innocent little children who are bearing the brunt of a war they certainly didn't start. Along with these children seeking safety in the nearby regions, are large numbers of Iraqi, Afghani and Yazidi refugees as well.
The largest humanitarian crises of our times is being live-tweeted and all we're doing is watch!
Or maybe not?
Letters of Love is a global initiative guided by UNHCR- Gaziantep, Turkey, that aims at making a difference to humanitarian crises, one smile at a time. Founded in 2015 by a 23-year old Engineer turned Educator along with an ebullient team of 30 across 10 countries, we intend on doing so by primarily sending personalized letters, them being photo-cards with a motivating hand-written message, as NewYear Greetings to all the children entrapped in war & refugee children. Our secondary objective is to raise funds simultaneously to the UNHCR for the credible work they are doing at this front.Our tertiary objective is to raise awareness about the Syrian war & refugee crisis by sensitizing school & college students, teacher education institutions & corporate companies all around the world.
Here is our impact over the last 2 years in numbers :
In a nutshell, people who are sensitized to the Syrian refugee crisis send us a happy photograph and motivating message through our website. The pictures are printed out and the messages are translated by our Syrian volunteers on board into Syrian Arabic. The writing team comprising of a group of students from various colleges and also volunteers from myriad walks of life in Egypt, Jordan and India, write them down, doodle with colours and accumulate them for the final shipment to camps and community centers as directed by the UNHCR.
The media coverage of Letters of Love has been gracious.
Into our 3rd year now, Letters of Love 2018, is back with numerous refugee camps and centers on board and is delivering to more refugee communities across Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, et al.
Let's not be part of the world that watched their cities burn down , who watched their lives fall apart as they struggle; who watched young dreams of growing up in a peaceful world shatter into fragments of terror .
Let's not be the part of the world that stood there , mumbling while watching their worlds crumble.
Let's be that part , they'd want to remember with a smile; the part that cares, loves and that which they deserve rightfully .
Let's be the better world !
Calling out to all the hearts out there, anyone and everyone who believes in the power of impossible hope, the magic of a smile, are humane and yearn to make a difference, however big or small !
Let's make their 2018 , a Happy New Year, indeed !
We at Letters of Love strongly believe in the popular maxim, 'Many a little, makes a mickle
'. A small fraction of the funds we raise is used to cover the logistical cost of Letters of Love. Each letter only amounts to an approximate Rs 10 ( 0.153$ ) which includes the printing and courier costs. The larger fraction is transferred to UNHCR for the credible work they undertake for the benefit of refugees.
Your humble donation could be the colourful postcard from a promising new friend expressing solidarity and the pair of woollen socks and other resources as decided by UNHCR that will safe guard the children from the harsh winter these countries experience, especially with the poor living conditions they're all subjected to !
For all you know, for what it's worth, let's love !
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR ?!
The change is near and it's here. It's YOU.
Let's spread the smiles, together !