As the world marks one year since the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Syria and Turkey, humanitarian organisations and activists are coming together to shed light on the ongoing struggles faced by communities in northwest Syria.  

On Saturday 10 February, Hands Up, in collaboration with the Syrian British Consortium and SOAS Syria Society, will be hosting the event “Rebuilding Hope: A Year After the Syria-Turkey Earthquake” at the Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London

The earthquakes, which first hit on 6 February last year, left a devastating impact, claiming nearly 50,000 lives in Turkey and 6,000 in Syria. The aftermath has been particularly harsh for northwest Syria, an area already grappling with a decade-long humanitarian crisis. This region is home to 4.6 million people, including 2.9 million forcibly displaced individuals. Basic necessities, including shelter, food, health services, education, and access to life-saving assistance have become even scarcer since the earthquakes. 

At Hands Up, we recognise the urgency of the situation. Our CEO, Rose Essam, has voiced deep concern over the inadequacy of aid allocated to Syria, emphasising “the current situation in Syria is frightening, and the aid budget allocated to the country is desperately insufficient.” As a charity committed to supporting Syrians, we are dedicated to ensuring that the challenges faced by communities are not forgotten. 

The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Yasmine Nahlawi from Syrian British Consortium, will feature prominent speakers including; Monir Mustafa, from Syria Civil Defence (The White Helmets); Raya Homsi, a Syrian humanitarian and human rights activist; Fuad Sayed Issa, Founder of Violet Organisation; and our own CEO, Rose Essam. The panelists will address the challenges faced by Syrians post-earthquakes, the role of humanitarian actors within the country, and the urgent need for continued support and awareness. 

The event, “Rebuilding Hope: A Year After the Syria-Turkey Earthquake,” aims not only to raise awareness, but also generate vital funds to support ongoing relief efforts in Syria. Rose added: “Alongside this event Hands Up have launched an urgent appeal to raise £25,000 to keep our medical centre in northwest Syria open for it’s 50,000 patients and help us support women and girls who are vulnerable to violence and child marriage.”  

For those interested in attending, please join us on Saturday 10 February, 5pm – 6.30pm, at the Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), SOAS Main Building, Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG. Your support means the world to us and to the communities we work with.