‘Heartbroken’ is a word you hear a lot in our office – particularly with all that's happened in Aleppo over the past few days. For our staff, many of whom still have family inside Syria, this is personal.
The sad truth is that although Aleppo’s destruction has left Syrian children facing some of their darkest days yet, we know that Aleppo is only one of many besieged cities in Syria and another 400,000 people may be living in similar, if not worse situations.
In the face of the killing of children, the displacement of thousands and the annihilation of vast swathes of an ancient city – all happening in front of a global audience on TV and computer screens – it's easy to feel helpless.
The people of Syria think we've forgotten them. They think that no one cares about their plight. We ask you to show them differently.
This Christmas season at World Vision, we are asking donors, supporters and anyone else who wants to join in – to light a candle and send a message to Syria. Make a donation to ensure help can reach those in need. Send a message to your leader to say you care; that this has to stop.
By encouraging people to light a candle this Christmas we want to show Syrians that there is hope, people stand with them in their darkest of days, we acknowledge that the world has failed them and we pledge to act.
Place a candle in a window, take a photo of it and then share that image and a message of hope for Syria’s children with friends and family on social media, using the hashtag #Candle4Syria.
We know that Syrians have access to mobile phones and hopefully will see the messages of goodwill and encouragement and understand that despite the failures of our international leaders, we stand with them.
In addition to lighting candles and sharing messages on social media, we encourage you to share messages with leaders, and ask them to act to support Syria’s children through increased funding or renewed attempts to bring peace.
World Vision is at work in Syria where we partner with dedicated local organisations to meet the needs of those who have fled Aleppo and other parts of the country by providing water and sanitation services; supporting primary and mobile health clinics; operating women and young child centres; and supporting the district women and children’s hospital with equipment and supplies.