Unpaid, Unarmed Lifesavers in Syria

 A boy was pulled from the rubble after a barrel bomb attack in Aleppo, Syria, last year. Credit Hosam Katan/Reuters

A boy was pulled from the rubble after a barrel bomb attack in Aleppo, Syria, last year. Credit Hosam Katan/Reuters

SOURCE: New York Times

WHO would have thought there could be an uplifting story from Syria?

Yet side by side with the worst of humanity, you often see the best. In Syria, that’s a group of volunteers called the White Helmets. Its members rush to each bombing and claw survivors from the rubble.

There are more than 2,200 volunteers in the White Helmets, mostly men but a growing number of women as well. The White Helmets are unpaid and unarmed, and they risk their lives to save others. More than 80 have been killed in the line of duty, the group says, largely because Syrian military aircraft often return for a “double-tap” — dropping bombs on the rescuers.

Wearing simple white construction helmets as feeble protection from those “double-tap” bombings, the White Helmets are strictly humanitarian. They even have rescued some of the officers of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad who are bombing them.
Nicholas Kristof
Human rights, women’s rights, health, global affairs.

Every day there are scores of bombings or missile strikes across Syria — for months, the beautiful ancient city of Aleppo was enduring 50 attacks a day — and, each time, these are the crews that extinguish the fires and help the injured.

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

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