An Israeli grassroots initiative to help Syrian children has swiftly gained traction, raising almost half a million shekels from more than 2,700 donors in the first few days of a crowdfunding campaign.
Titled “Just Beyond the Border,” the campaign launched on Thursday night seeks to raise a target of 600,000 NIS in just over a month.
The funds will go toward purchasing emergency aid including food, medication and supplies for the winter for Syrian refugees.
The campaign page, on the mimoona crowdfunding platform, details exactly what different amounts of donations will be put toward, from 25 NIS all the way up to 100,000 NIS. The equipment will be purchased in Israel and will be transferred to young refugees with the help of the Israeli Flying Aid organization (IFA) NGO, delivering lifesaving aid to communities affected by natural disasters and human conflict.
“Hundreds of thousands of children from war-torn Syria are now facing winter,” a campaign flyer reads. “We will not stand idly by as the horrors unfold.”
The project is being coordinated by Israelis from across the country including religious and secular Jews and Muslims and Christians, who on Yom Kippur organized a mass prayer for the victims of the Syrian conflict.
“As an Israeli child, I grew up asking where the world was when we needed them most,” said organizer Yoav Bakshi Yeivin. “As a Jew, I always knew that I was expected to be there, to help and lend a hand. There is no nation that knows better than us how lethal apathy can be.”
Yeivin explained that the project seeks to enable action for any citizen who wants to help, expressing his faith in the compassion of the Israeli people and their willingness to donate to those in need, just beyond the border. “The world is watching, considering its options, but as an Israeli, a Jew and a neighbor, I can’t just stand by,” Yeivin said.
“The reality in Syria is complicated for us as Israelis, but with the situation as it is, inaction is not an option,” co-organizer Shivi Froman added, alluding to the fact that Syria is an enemy state of Israel.
“The decision we made was to take children out of the equation because children are children, and they deserve assistance irrespective of how complex the reality might be.”
“It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong, who is good and who is bad, it doesn’t matter,” echoed fellow campaigner Yotvat Fireaizen Weil. “What matters is to lend a hand and help those who are innocent.”