Out of the darkness of the Syrian conflict has emerged another light. The Violet Organisation is an NGO that is operating in some of the most affected provinces of Syria, working to restore a sense of normality, and compassion. Their first office was established in Idlib city, within the northerly Idlib province of Syria, and they are now operating in Idlib, Aleppo, Hama, Damascus, Latakia, and Homs. As an organisation that operates in rebel-held areas, they are working within the most heavily bombed areas in Syria, having been on the end of heavy aerial bombardment by the air force of the Syrian government, as well as that of the Russian army. Their vision, as stated on their website, is to, “create a team of benevolent individuals motivated by love and faith to provide aid to the oppressed and the needy around the world”.
One of the Violet’s significant projects has been to initiate Idlib’s Spring, wherein the group are working towards a major revamp of the centre of Idlib city’s infrastructure, renovating the city by way of painting public spaces, planting trees, and carrying out a major clean-up of these spaces. True to their name, violet is the colour of choice for this organisation’s vision of a future for Idlib, adding a much-needed brightness with their paint.
Speaking to Al Jazeera in July of this year, spokesman for the organisation Fouad Sayyed Issa said, “We have 1,500 volunteers working on this project with the help of local committees…the feeling of hope was felt by everyone as we finished our project in Idlib’s clock square…we could see happiness on the faces of adults and children; everyone was so happy. Everyone felt like life was brought back to them.”
The organisation believes it has helped around 2.7million people between 2015 and 2016, with its founding having taken place early in the conflict in 2011. As well as improving public spaces, the Violets are engaged in numerous humanitarian projects such as delivering crucial emergency response training to volunteers on the ground, housing those who have lost their homes, and providing suitable winter clothing for those at risk of suffering during Syria’s winters.
Love of God and Humanity
The Violet’s mission is to stand with “the exploited, oppressed, the poorest…help(ing) build a decent life for them…we aim to build a better society…to aid others around the world motivated by the love of God and humanity.” In the midst of a conflict, and indeed a region, that has been blighted by those who have hijacked religion and religious language to suit their political aims, the Violets are providing a timely example of the power of religion in being utilised for good.
Issa told Al Jazeera, “Our message to the world is that the Syrian people can and will get back on their feet. We will bring life back to our country and smiles back to our peoples’ faces. The war must stop; the air strikes and the fighting must stop”. May God protect and provide for all those who are working towards healing Syria and its people, and all who are working to put a smile back on people’s faces.