Supporting Syria — Why It Matters to Us?

Grace Ebach

Armenia, 1915. The Holocaust, 1930’s-40’s. Rwanda, 1994. Bosnia, 1992-95.

Even if some of us have never heard of some of these tragedies, we all have some knowledge of the international disasters that have plagued history. Here at Latin, students take it upon themselves to help countries affected by such calamities, even decades after the fact, like Latin in Rwanda.

Well, another international cataclysm has been plaguing Syria since early 2011, and has led to some pretty devastating consequences for the country. Over 100,000 citizens are dead, and over 6 million have been internally displaced or have fled to other countries, half of them children.

It’s common when hearing stories like these that some of us immediately say, “What can I do?” and then proceed to try and change the world, most of the time unsuccessfully. A lot of us also simply feel hopeless, like nothing we could do would make a difference. We just shake our head and say, “Wow, that’s terrible” and then continue our lives, never giving a thought to it again, or until it shows up in the news with even more catastrophic headlines. Being in this polarized mindset is normal, but it doesn’t have to encompass entirely how we internalize tragedy.

Cue Ms. Arif’s International Human Rights class. In addition to educating students about international relations theory and the history of human rights, part of the class’s purpose is to inform everyday people, in this case Latin seniors, of simple but impactive ways to help another country during a time of need. Now, the class is putting these lessons into action via their Supporting Syria project. Each of the three teams (Awareness, Fundraising, and On-the-Ground) has been tasked with goals pertaining to their specific area of service, and over the next few weeks, will be needing your support to make a difference in the lives of struggling Syrians.

The Awareness group has created a blog ( in order to create some attention surrounding the crisis in Syria. If possible, share it with your family and friends so that we can all have a more informed perspective. The Fundraising group has (appropriately) started a fundraiser (as seen on Facebook) for the Syrian branch of UNICEF. Their goal is to raise $1,000 and, in addition to putting change jars around the school, they created a gofundme page ( where you can donate however much you would like. Also, they have started a twitter account (@LatinforSyria) to further educate the public about the current situation in Syria. Lastly, the On-the-Ground group has created a blog as well (, and is holding a clothing and shoe drive over spring break and the first week back. So, if you have any old clothes or blankets lying around that you don’t use, bring them in to benefit those suffering.

We may not be able to completely change the Syrian situation halfway across the world at Latin, but with some inspired students and a supportive community, we sure can make a big difference. So check out the links above, get educated, and give what you can! Even a few dollars or a couple blankets can drastically improve, or save, someone’s life.]]>