Defying war and terror: With unerring persistence, local civil society initiatives provide Syria with humanitarian aid and lead a non-violent campaign for the democratisation of the country. The Leipzig initiative “adopt a revolution” supports their efforts.
Air raids lead by the Assad regime, Isis terror attacks, refugees: It is rare that other pictures and accounts from Syria than these recurring stories actually make their way through the media. But they do exist. There are stories of Syrians who still harbour the hope of peace and freedom in their home country and who campaign with great endurance. The initiative “adopt a revolution” draws attention to the activities of these peace workers in Germany and collects donations to support them financially.
For example, there is the initiative which rebuilds schools and kindergartens and encourages children to think and act independently. Or the aid workers who smuggle food supplies into an occupied town in order to provide for the remaining inhabitants. There is the group in a small town which exposes the brutality of radical Islamists, thus weakening their local support. And there meanwhile seven civil society centres where people from all sectors of the population can meet and, at cultural events and discussion forums, spread the values and beliefs of the uprising: Freedom, democracy, human rights and human dignity. In spite of the constant danger and violence, many civil society initiatives do not back down, but rather create networks to stabilise and provide a strong base for their work.
The examples given show only a small cross-section of the 27 Syrian projects which were supported by “adopt a revolution” in 2014 with donations from Germany. The organisation was founded at the beginning of 2012 by a team of three. Meanwhile, there are seven full-time employees working for “adopt a revolution” and ten more who work regularly on a voluntary basis. Several team members have a personal connection to Syria, either through their studies, their background or their professional experience.
“Adopt a revolution” also aims to provide Europe with a more differentiated picture of the situation in Syria. The employees working for “adopt a revolution” continuously collect information and viewpoints from the democratic opposition in Syria which they spread on their website, in newsletters, press releases and printed publications.
The initiative consequently sees its work not simply as providing humanitarian aid, but as an act of solidarity with the Syrian civilian society. The situation threatening those who play an active role in the different initiatives is exacerbated by an additional danger – there is a real risk of them being politically worn down between the Assad dictatorship and Isis terror. International solidarity is therefore understandably an important sign of hope and encouragement.