the white helmets
The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) tweeted at 4:48 AM – 6 Apr 2017 :
3rd joint report between SCD & Idleb health directorate in regards to Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. 84 killed (27kids & 19wmn), 546 injured https://t.co/rWG9Q4sBSB (http://twitter.com/SyriaCivilDef/status/849936892430872577?s=17)
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The White Helmets are 3,300 volunteer search and rescue workers from local communities who risk their lives to save others and bring hope. 85,228 + lives saved
The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence (SCD; Arabic: الدفاع المدني السوري), is a volunteer civil defense organisation that currently operates in parts of rebel-controlled Syria. …
…In response, small groups of civilian volunteers from affected communities, particularly in Aleppo and Idlib, self-formed to assist neighbors injured in bombardment or trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. Very quickly, training, funding and support from a broad, international array of partners – including donor governments in Europe, the US and Japan; the Turkish AKUT Search and Rescue Association; and a variety of NGOs, private individuals, public fundraising campaigns, and charities – became a key factor in the development of the organisation.
SCD has grown to be an organization of over 3,000 volunteers operating from 111 local civil defence centers across 8 provincial directorates (Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Damascus Countryside, and Daraa). In October 2014, these self-organised teams came together and voted to form one national organization: Syria Civil Defence. As of January 2017, the SCD claims to have rescued over 80,000 people since they began to keep count in 2014 from the effects of the civil war. According to The Economist, approximately one in six SCD have been killed or badly wounded, “many by “double-tap” Russian and Syrian airstrikes on the same site as they search for bodies.” The SCD was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize and was a recipient of the 2016 Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize”.
SCD’s stated mission is
“to save the greatest number of lives in the shortest possible time and to minimize further injury to people and damage to property.”
Their work covers the 15 civil defense tasks as laid out in international humanitarian law (IHL); the bulk of their activity in Syria consists of urban search and rescue in response to bombing, medical evacuation, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery.
As well as providing rescue services, SCD undertakes repair works such as securing damaged buildings and reconnecting electrical and water services, clearing roads, teaching children about unexploded ordnance hazards, as well as firefighting and winter storm relief.
Sometimes described as the most dangerous job in the world, SCD operations involve risk from a wide variety of war-zone threats. 159 White Helmets have been killed since the organization’s inception.
As of 2015, SCD had an annual budget of $30 million provided by a mix of state donors and public fundraising. Volunteers who work full-time receive a $150 monthly stipend.
A notable member in Aleppo, Khaled Omar Harrah, known as the ‘child rescuer’, was killed there in an airstrike in August 2016
The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) tweeted at 8:57 AM – 20 Apr 2017 :
Proud of our Director. https://t.co/MdTverqXXh (http://twitter.com/SyriaCivilDef/status/855072877975961601?s=17)
Seven members of the White Helmets rescue group shot dead in Syria gun attack cnn.it/2w05tia
Idrees Ahmad (@im_PULSE) tweeted at 6:44 PM on Tue, Jan 23, 2018:
I am watching “Last Men in Aleppo” and I can’t even begin to describe the rage and contempt I feel towards the conspiracist nut jobs who have slandered the heroic first responders who have provided hope and relief to a people facing genocide, in a place without hope or relief.