Thursday, January 9, 2014
Israeli youth send winter equipment to Syrian refugees
An Israeli NGO is helping Syrian refugees survive by collecting winter clothing, but has to remove all traces of its origin before sending it to the war-torn country.
Operation Human Warmth was organized in response to the snowstorm last month during which 27 Syrian children died. Israeli Flying Aid launched the campaign in cooperation with two youth movements, DrorIsrael and Hano’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed.
Israeli Flying Aid supplies humanitarian aid to people around the world, including in countries that have no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. The organization does not usually publicize such actions so as not to be prevented from carrying out its missions. This time it is speaking out, in an effort to raise awareness of the refugees’ plight and to attract financial donations.
Gal Lusky, founder of Israeli Flying Aid, told The Jerusalem Post that because of the Jewish people’s past, there was a “moral obligation to be the voice of the voiceless.”
The aid effort is meant to “help Israeli children understand that Syrians are in desperate need of help, and that humanitarian reasons require one to put politics aside for a while.
“It is a great moment for democracy,” she added, “as these children might one day fight against each other, to educate Israeli youth,” and to act to help the children of their “worst enemy.”
Members of the public can bring sweaters, blankets, sleeping bags and other garments to 15 Hano’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed youth centers across the country through January 10. Members of the two youth groups are also going out and collecting the needed items.
The donations will be checked to ensure the safety of the refugees who will receive them. Thus, clothing with Israeli brand names or Hebrew writing will not be accepted, and all Hebrew-language tags will be removed.
Israeli Flying Aid will transfer them to Syrians in need. The NGO declined to say the supplies would be sent to Syria.
Some 100,000 members of the youth groups between the ages of 12 to 18 will participate in the operation.
Israeli Flying Aid plans to start another operation later this month with the Scout movement to collect dry foods and other goods to send to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons.