raising money for vital health services in north-western Syria.
The Hands Up Foundation is a young and innovative charity which was set up by four British friends. Inspired by our time in Damascus, we want to remind our friends in Syria that they have not been forgotten. For us, ‘Syria’ is the noise, colour and scent of spice souks, the birthplace of modern civilisation and the definition of hospitality. The idea behind everything Hands Up does is simple and positive; gather people together, remind them of Syria’s rich culture and do something good. Hands Up is registered in England and Wales and raises money and awareness through creative fundraising initiatives, including the Syrian Supper Club, MarmalAid and Singing for Syrians.
Refugee children in northern Syria raising their hands!
Hands Up raises money for projects implemented on the ground by partner organisations. Where possible these projects are inside Syria and run by Syrians. Sustainability forms the basis of all the projects we choose, which is why we focus on funding salaries and long-term work in health and education. All projects we fund are monitored regularly and designed to have the maximum impact for those in need.
We have witnessed first-hand the positive effect of direct aid in Syria and we hope that the Syrians we support will contribute to rebuilding and making their country, once again, a place where people can live in peace.
It is so easy to feel helpless in the face of Syria’s increasingly brutal and long-lasting conflict, but we all have the power to do something. Making sure that people are positively motivated to donate and able to wave the fundraising flag themselves is what our fundraising is all about.
Get in touch to find out what you can do to help.
The Syrian Supper Club is where we started in 2012. Since then we have held over 150 suppers, fed more than 3,000 people, and rolled a whole heap of falafel. Other Syrian Suppers pop up regularly around the world. We use a simple yet powerful formula; by sharing food and using a little entertainment people are united behind a common cause. If you’re interested in holding or coming to a Syrian Supper, click here.
Singing for Syrians encourages individuals, bands, choirs, schools and churches across the UK to raise the roof and as much money as possible by holding a singing event as part of a wider initiative. In 2017 we held more than 70 events raising over £134,000. If you would like to hold your own event or attend one locally, click here.
MarmalAid is inspired by Syria’s own bitter oranges, and their trees which grow in the old city of Damascus. Since 2014, we have been making marmalade with a Syrian twist with all profits donated to the aid projects we support in and around Syria.
In November 2017 we launched a new organic Seville orange and cardamom marmalade with Abel and Cole which can be bought on their website here.
We can also supply large volumes for favours at weddings, parties and gala dinners; these are sold in two sizes including the 2oz mini jars. If you'd like to place a large order, please email [email protected]
وأشجارِ نارنجٍ كأن ثمارَها ... حِقاقُ عقيقٍ قد مُلِئنَ من الدُر ِمطالعُها بين الغصونِ كأنها ... خدودُ العذارى في ملاحفِها الخُضر أَتَتْ كلَّ مشتاقٍ بِرَيّا حبيبِهِ ... فهاجَت له الأحزانَ من حيثُ لاَ يَدري
The needs of people affected by the crisis in Syria are vast. For Hands Up, it is important to try and answer the demands as they arise but equally to offer consistent and sustainable funding to those who can work, support families and provide vital medical, health and education services to their communities, often in areas where the health and education systems have almost completely deteriorated.
This year, amongst others, we are supporting three projects that we are very proud of.
You can view and download a flyer of our projects here.
The need for medical aid in Syria is vast, especially for the 15 million civilians still in the country. Hands Up, in partnership with SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society), supports a primary health clinic catering to the needs of internally displaced people in Al Zerbeh. We are funding the salaries of 22 staff, including a GP, paediatrician, midwife, nurses and guards who carry out 5000 consultations a month on average. We also cover costs that make these jobs possible: fuel, stationary etc. Hands Up receives monthly timesheets and pay-slips from the staff to ensure funding is delivered appropriately.
We have supported the National Syrian Project for Prosthetic Limbs (in partnership with Syria Relief) for the last three years. Our funding pays for costs including staff salaries, materials and rent as well as patient treatment at their clinic in Bab al Hawa. This year they are expanding to include the provision of better prosthetic limbs and doubling the number of limbs they produce to 190 a month. The average cost of a limb above the knee is £500 and this programme is designed to get people back to work, restore dignity or simply allow patients not to feel helpless at home.
This year, in partnership with Syria Relief, we are funding medical training in Idleb City, with a view to lessening the imbalance in demand and supply for medical care. This imbalance is due to the fact that most specialized personnel have fled the country over the past 5 years and a large number of medical students have not been able to complete their studies and receive a degree. The training will include 3 courses a month and will be directed to 720 beneficiaries, comprised of medical and non-medical staff. In funding this, we hope to contribute to a long term, sustainable solution to the expanding need for healthcare in Syria.
Hands Up is currently keenly looking into funding education based projects in Syria. We will make more information available on this as it progresses.
For those who are interested, there is always further information available on our projects, although we will only ever give out details that do not jeopardize the safety of our beneficiaries and partners. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
We work with several organizations in Turkey, Jordan and Syria, supporting projects providing maternal healthcare and medical equipment, paying local doctors’ salaries, delivering food baskets and providing prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation.
Organizations we have worked with include:
As the crisis continues it is more important than ever that we continue to provide support and we can’t do this without your help.