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Swimming for Syrian refugees appeal

Swimming for Syrian refugees appeal


by Deborah Miarkowska

Over the last few months the news from Syria has escalated into all out conflict and the effects of this are devastating for the population.


Leo Santos-Shaw, Textiles Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton has been moved enough to swim to raise much needed funds for Syrian refugees, not once, not twice but three times this August and September 2012. Leo says:

“I will be attempting (and hopefully completing) three sea swims: Newhaven to Brighton (8 miles); Dover to France (an official Channel relay swim) and Worthing Pier to Brighton Pier (11 miles). Sea swimming this year has been particularly challenging, due to below average sea temperatures, rough seas and high winds, huge amounts of seaweed and floating debris! These three swims together with many hours of training amount to a lot of swimming – and, wearing only trunks, goggles and a cap!

So click on this link for more information concerning the Syrian refugee crisis and donating – it would be great if a donation or two could be made for such a worthy cause.
Donating through this page is simple, quick and secure. It is the most efficient way to give – so every donation goes straight to where it’s needed! – and if you are a UK taxpayer and give Gift Aid consent you will boost your donation.


The current situation in Syria, July 2012

Since protests began in the Syrian Arab Republic in March 2011, violence has escalated between the Syrian Army and rebel troops.

The current turmoil has so far forced almost 100,000 people (96,383) to abandon home to seek safety in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. The past few months have seen a huge surge in violence and it is anticipated that thousands more people will need to flee for their lives in the coming weeks; In the first week of July alone, between four and five thousand Syrian refugees arrived in Jordan.

“Around 75% of Syrian refugees are women and children. Most are left with only the clothes on their backs and are entirely dependent on life saving humanitarian assistance,” said Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR’s Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees.

The Syria Regional Response Plan outlines current and future needs for more than 185,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2012.

Country by country

In Jordan, some 31,000 Syrians had registered with UNHCR as of July 2012. Many refugees have arrived with limited means to cover basic needs, and those who could at first rely on savings or support from host families are now increasingly in need of assistance.

In Lebanon, many refugees are in a precarious situation, with little or no financial resources. UNHCR and partners are working with the government, local authorities and international and national partners to assist more than 27,000 Syrians.

In Turkey, some 35,000 Syrians are registered with the government, which has assumed responsibility for assisting, sheltering and protecting the refugees in camps, with UNHCR providing technical support as well as thousands of tents and tens of thousands of blankets.

Iraq has recently seen a growing number of Syrians arriving. As of July, some 6,100 had been registered. UNHCR and partners have started assisting refugees, in close cooperation with the authorities.

So please, donate what you can here:


The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to provide protection and assistance to refugees. Today, UNHCR is one of the world’s principal humanitarian agencies, its staff of 6,540 personnel helping more than 30 million people in 116 countries. The agency has provided assistance to more than 50 million people worldwide, earning Nobel Peace Prizes in both 1954 and 1981. UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions, and more than 90 percent of your contribution goes directly to the field. The money you donate to UNHCR will help to ensure that the world’s most vulnerable people are provided with safety, access to shelter, clean water, medical care and education. Your donations will ensure that UNHCR’s emergency response teams, who are on constant standby for worldwide deployment, are able to provide vital aid and relief in crisis areas as quickly as possible.

Many thanks for your kind support – Leo

Leo Santos-Shaw

Textiles Senior Lecturer

Department of Fashion & Textiles
University of Brighton
Grand Parade

Tel: 01273 643211

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