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What we do

Hands Up is a small and innovative charity that funds health and education programmes in Syria and neighbouring countries. Our aim is to make a positive difference to Syrians in need. We work directly with local organisations who know the needs and context of their local communities better than anyone. Our work is simple, positive and transparent.

We raise money and awareness through creative fundraising initiatives which give others a tangible way of helping. Having started out by holding Syrian-inspired feasts at our kitchen table in 2012, we have now raised over £6 million.


Since 2011 the lives of millions of Syrians have been shattered. More than half of Syria’s population have had to flee their home, including thousands of Syrian doctors and teachers, who are either internally displaced or have left as refugees. Many Syrian children have only ever known a country in conflict. Some do not know their country at all, never mind what a classroom looks like. The needs of Syrian children and families will remain constant for a number of years.  We partner with local Syrian organizations who deliver aid directly and effectively in a complicated and volatile part of the world.

Our mission

We believe in giving Syrians a hand up, not a hand out, and in the personal dignity gained by empowering local Syrian communities. By supporting Hands Up you’re directly helping to provide sustainable support to Syrian doctors and teachers, who provide vital education and health services, strengthening the stability of local society and, crucially, fostering hope.

How you can help

Syria has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. It is easy to feel hopeless and helpless in the face of such a long-lasting and protracted conflict.   You can help by raising money for Hands Up through donations or holding your own events. All funds go directly to health and education projects that are supporting the livelihoods of Syrian doctors and teachers as well as vital services to their local communities. 

About us

Hands Up was set up by four British friends. Inspired by our time in Damascus, we wanted 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 run by the team in London and governed by its Board of Trustees.

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