BY: CHARLOTTE LEFAVE
In Syria bombs are being dropped daily onto innocent civilian villages, flattening thousands of homes and burying helpless townsfolk underneath the rubble. In the face of the blasts and fires that rage in the aftermath of the air raids, countless people are left injured, buried, or dead under the remains of what were once their homes and towns. Survivors are devastated, having lost family and friends to the bombings, not knowing what is happening to them, or why.
In the midst of all of this chaos, a group of unarmed volunteers rush in to save as many lives as they can, risking their own lives in the middle of a warzone to pull civilians out of the wreckage and provide them with the medical treatment that they need to survive.
They are the White Helmets, a volunteer-operated rescue team acting for the sole purpose of saving as many lives as possible from the violence. According to The Globe and Mail, the group consists of almost 3,000 search and rescue workers. They have succeeded in saving over 73,000 civilians from the destruction, the majority of whom are innocent families living in small villages targeted by both ISIS and Russian bombing planes, which are letting loose up to 50 barrel bombs a day onto innocents.
The White Helmets are a neutral team whose main focus is to rescue people from the aftermath of the bombings and have saved countless men, women, and children from the shambles of their towns. They have gained international recognition for their work, specifically by saving innocent children and aiding soldiers, regardless of their uniform. They also give fallen soldiers a proper burial, acting with respect and giving them the dignity every person deserves.
These valorous workers originated as civilians from all walks of life and stepped up to have the chance to help the people of their country against the unspeakable actions taken against them. Operating outside of government delegation, they work for the communities of these towns and help to rebuild and aid the members in any way that is needed.
Hundreds have been injured – over 141 of them soldiers in the line of duty – and yet the White Helmets refuse to be discouraged. This group provides hope for the thousands living in fear of their homes being the next to be destroyed, or their families being the next to disappear under the rubble. They work solely on the belief that hope and humanity will overcome the cruelty that they have been shown in the bombs, bullets, and chlorine gas that has been dropped on them. Their motto is: “To save a life is to save all humanity.”
The White Helmets operate only from money that has been donated. The volunteers have made headlines in every major newspaper over the past year, Netflix made a documentary about them, and they were even nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
You can show your support by donating on their website here.