Fancy footwork by 12-year-old Youssef, makes everyone smile at our health clinic in Daraa, southern Syria. Youssef dreams of becoming a professional football player like his idol, Lionel Messi. His mother is sure he will win his fight with cancer.
Youssef, 12, wants to be a soccer player like Lionel Messi and emotional support from Red Cross gives him hope. Photo: Syrian Red Crescent.
Our volunteers give Youssef a new football signed by Syrian footballers. It means the world to Youssef. All he can remember is war. He has gone without the basics that Australian children take for granted. Youssef is staying positive. Every child deserves much better.
The last battles may be underway in Syria’s north, yet the war is far from over for millions of people. I see so many living life to the fullest, despite having families torn apart.
In eight years of war, the world has failed to protect the people of Syria. While there are no simple solutions, we must do more to support the people of Syria to fix a mess that has been forced upon them.
Could more have been done to find a political solution and stem one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises? Do all governments share a collective responsibility to find lasting solutions? The answer to these questions must be a resounding yes.
In Brussels later this month, governments of the world, the European Union, the United Nations and international humanitarian organisations will meet to thrash out solutions on Syria’s future.
Australia and many other countries have made very welcome contributions to aid efforts in Syria. Generous Australians have helped fund mobile health clinics saving thousands of lives. But there is a massive funding shortfall.