herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Locals team up with Syrians to help families in war-torn region

Aid

Fiona Duffy and Bridget Wright of Human Appeal loading a container with aid for Syria
Fiona Duffy and Bridget Wright of Human Appeal loading a container with aid for Syria

WINTER supplies to benefit as many as 20,000 refugees are being sent out to the Middle East in a joint effort between locals and the Syrian community here.

Several organisations have come together to send Europe's largest aid convoy to refugees in the war-torn region.

A shipment containing 40 tonnes of vital supplies will arrive at refugee camps in Syria ahead of the harsh winter and sub-zero temperatures.

The aid shipment includes warm clothing and blankets as well as much needed medical equipment.

Led by Irish charity Human Appeal, thousands of schools, colleges, hospitals and sporting associations all participated in this mass display of solidarity by the Irish people.

Leaders of faith groups and Syrians rolled-up their sleeves yesterday to load the containers at the JFK industrial estate in Dublin - including many who have recently arrived in Ireland from the troubled region.

The charity has already shipped 25 containers of aid to Syria.

It expects to send a further 10 before December.

Kevin and Sue Kelly operate The Jacket Off Your Back charity. The Carlow couple collected over 10,000 left-over sleeping bags from Electric Picnic earlier in the summer for the shipment.

The kind-hearted duo started giving cloths to homeless people in Dublin last year and in July they visited Romania to witness the poor living conditions for refugee families.

Help

"I offer my time because I am in a position to do so and able to help," Mr Kelly told the Herald last night.

"In Romania, we witnessed children eating from black bag waste. That was the moment I decided to become involved in volunteering.

"Very little aid is getting directly into Syria, so it is great this container will arrive before Christmas."

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