Syria Civil Defence
The Syria Civil Defense is a group of nearly 3000 volunteers who work to save lives and strengthen communities in Syria. They rush to the scene of attacks to save the greatest number of lives in the shortest possible time and to minimise further injury to people and damage to property.
They are a neutral and impartial organisation. They do not to pledge allegiance to any political party or group. They serve all the people of Syria – they are from the people and they for the people.
What Syria Civil Defence wants for the future is that they hope and pray for the cessation of bombing and fighting which target civilians and for peace and stability. They pledge that once fighting ends, they commit the Syria Civil Defence organisation to embark on the generational task of rebuilding Syria into a stable, prosperous and peace loving nation in which the social, economic and political aspirations of her people can be realised.
How did the Syria Civil Defence form?
When the peaceful revolution in Syria descended into a conflict, areas across the country became liberated from the control of the Syrian regime. The regime’s response to this liberation was to attack these areas from the air, block aid and, in some instances, place them under siege. As these areas came under increasingly heavy attacks, with some being bombed as often as fifty times a day, groups of civilians formed volunteer teams that responded to the aftermath of regime attacks1: searching for people caught under the rubble, helping the injured get to medical care, burying the dead and securing the sites.
First emerging in late 2012-early 2013 as the use of aerial bombardment by the regime escalated, these self-organised groups quickly formed into volunteer centres. The first centres appeared in Aleppo City, Douma and Al Bab. After forming individual centres these groups coalesced at the provincial level and began communicating with each other as they were all doing the same work -- saving lives and helping their communities. One of the first things they knew they needed was proper training and equipment in order to save more lives.
They approached one of the aid organisations already providing support to civil society to ask if they could help provide technical training and equip their centres to make their work more effective. The first training was organised in Turkey in March 2013 with a team of twenty-five people from Anadan, Northern Aleppo. Following the success of that training we asked for the program to be expanded to more teams from more areas. The training provided them with vital knowledge on search and rescue as well as basic equipment to save lives. It also helped us understand that what they were doing was a set of activities defined as ‘civil defence’ tasks in international humanitarian law. This fit with their mission to aid all in need regardless of religion or political affiliation.
In October 2014 they had their first annual meeting of representatives from across all of Syria and agreed that they should officially form one organisation with a shared mission and national leadership. Since that moment they have grown from XX centres with 2267 civil defenders to 120 centres with 2890 civil defenders.See more