Our founder Dian and seven of the GiveLight team members traveled to the Syrian border in early January. Read on for her personal account.
"Syria. Aleppo. Aylan. Omran. We have wept and cried for them. We were moved to tears in the heat of the moment. Once the stories stop being featured as headlines, we tend to forget and go back to our own comfortable lives. We forgot the promises we made and move on as if the stories never entered our hearts.
My own pain of losing those I love was a reminder every day that I must share my blessings. I made a decision to never forget. Always. So a few weeks ago, I decided to take one of the most daring trips of my life--to go as close as I could to Aleppo without risking my safety. I was blessed with seven wonderful GiveLighter's who joined me on this journey. I am forever grateful to my dear sisters and team; Zohra Arsala, Laura Anderson-Eldeeb, their wonderful children, and to Salma Wadee who joined us from South Africa.
We were determined to do something for the Syrian children. Mere words cannot express the depth of my emotions experienced on this journey. We held back out tears as we entered one cold, broken shack after another. The city of Reyhanli is only an hour drive from Aleppo and there are 120,000 Syrian refugees compared to the 19,000 inhabitants. Imagine the needs and the devastation.
Even in the time of war, children exhibit the same qualities; they are resilient, they love to play, they yearn for attention and gifts, and never refuse a hug. Every child I met touched my heart and they inspired me to work even harder. Behind their smile there is an undeniable sadness in their eyes, displaying the painful loss of parents, family, friends and their country. And for thousands of them, all at once.
The magnitude of the problem is overwhelming. But remaining idle is not an option. I am thankful to God for granting myself and the GiveLight team the courage to take action. I am deeply grateful to so many amazing friends who chose to join me in giving our collective light. Over the next few months we are committed to continue exploring the many ways we can support the Syrian children. For now, know that your #BlanketOfLove and other winter necessities are warming the hearts and bodies of approximately 4000 children and their caretakers. May your heart be filled with joy and light.
Thank you for your shining generosity."
Click here to catch a glimpse of our visit in January.