BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Bruneian NGO WeCare is aiming to raise $200,000 to provide Syrian refugees with basic necessities for winter.
President of WeCare Md Akmal Hj Marsidi said the donations can help at least 40,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon for the harsh winter season, where the temperature can drop as low as -15°C.
In a press conference on Thursday, he said the funds will be used to provide fuel, clothing, shelter and food for the refugees.
This will be WeCare’s third humanitarian mission — last year representatives delivered aid to refugee camps in Turkey as part of the Syrian Warm Winter Project.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 5.6 million Syrian refugees have fled their country since a civil war broke out eight years ago.
Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee camp with 3.66 million Syrian refugees while over one million refugees are living in Lebanon.
Describing WeCare’s humanitarian mission last year, Md Akmal said the situation is “much more desperate” than what they were exposed to.
“You can imagine at tents, they don’t have much insulation. Most of them don’t have fuel to create heating, so imagine sleeping or living under those conditions and with lack of food as well,” he said.
He said the NGO has collected 30 percent or $60,000 of their target thus far.
Md Akmal added that 15 percent of the funds will be spent on administrative charges to ensure the project can be properly executed. The administrative charges cover flight tickets, accommodation and transportation for their volunteers who will oversee the distribution of aid in Turkey and Lebanon.
“Forty-thousand [refugees] is actually not a lot compared to the millions of Syrian refugees outside of Syria, but that is our small effort.
“We believe each and every one of us have a role to play, to come together and restore faith in humanity,” the president added.
The mission is organised in collaboration with Global Peace Mission, a Malaysian humanitarian NGO that was established in 2001.
Md Akmal said the collaboration came about during one of his business trips to Malaysia, adding that Global Peace Mission has experience and partnerships with other organisations in Turkey.
Three representatives from WeCare will partake in the mission. Muhammad Fuad Matahir will be in Lebanon from December 28 to January 8, while Md Akmal and Nor Aliiyah Hj Mail will depart for Turkey in January 2020.
The NGO also plans to create sustainable projects that empower Syrian refugees, including building schools and factories that create jobs.