It’s been 15 days since my friends and I started the #onemilechallege campaign. In 15 days we have created a Facebook group with 800 members, shared various videos and photos of challenges and raised over $1100 for World Vision and the Syrian Refugees. We are thrilled! It isn’t an exorbitant amount of money, but it’s far more than we could have done alone. We have also managed to spread awareness and knowledge to many people about just what is happening in Syria.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve had many questions sent to me, which I’d like to answer on here, just in case anyone else has the same questions.
What exactly is happening in Syria and why are people fleeing their own country?
The violence in Syria began in March 2011 and the middle eastern country has been crippled by a brutal civil war ever since. Since then, the United Nations estimates more than 200,000 people have died in the clashes between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebel forces who want him out. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse. The UN’s Refugee Agency says more than four million people have fled Syria to neighboring countries, and over half of those are children— the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. (This information comes from BBC, the White House and MercyCorps.)
Do I have to take and share a video of myself to take part in the #onemilechallenge?
Absolutely not! There are so many ways to join us and show and share the love! You can do the #onemilechallenge and take a photo (instead of a video) to share. You can share the blog posts, photos and articles we share with your friends, challenge others, join our Facebook group (the #onemilechallenge) and/or make a donation to mycause.worldvision.org/team/onemilechallenge (or a charity of your choice…we just want to send help!)
How do you know the money being donated is going to the Syrian Refugees and how are you keeping track?
We have contacted World Vision to ask them these same questions! We created a fundraising page (mycause.worldvision.org/team/onemilechallenge) with World Vision in order to assure that the funds we raise all go towards the Syrian families and children affected by this crisis. This page also keeps a running tally of how much we have raised.
How are the funds raised being used?
This is taken directly from World Vision’s website:
You’ll help refugees and internally displaced people with life-saving essentials like:
- Safe, clean water
- Critical emergency supplies
- Access to basic healthcare and education
- Child Friendly Spaces to give traumatized kids a safe space to play
Shouldn’t we be helping people in our own country first?
To be quite frank, I hate this question. It’s a touchy subject for many, which often leads to a political conversation that I do not enjoy having. However, I will do my best to answer this question in the most honest and appropriate way.
We should help everyone who needs help in whatever ways we can. It is impossible to choose the number-one-most-in-need group of people to support. All around the world people just like you and me are in desperate need of help. Some of these people are your family, friends, neighbors… some are family, friends and neighbors to others. The truth is that we all belong to each other. The sooner we remember that, the sooner we find peace. It is understandable that this cause may not be your top choice of causes to support and that is okay. What I ask of you is simply to help others. Volunteer, donate, read, learn, be aware, spread awareness, lift others up and be the change in the world you want to see. I do not believe that any one group of people is more important than another group of people. We all deserve love, safety and happiness. I hope this challenge brings just that to some of the many Syrians living in need.
If you have anymore questions for me, the group or World Vision, ask away! We would love to answer and share your questions! Thanks so much for following us and showing so much love and support. We are truly making a difference!
Oh and BTW, yesterday we started an Intagram account for the #onemilechallenge. Follow us @one_mile_challenge!