On the fifth anniversary of the devastating Syrian civil war, Iceland’s division of UNICEF held a solemn ceremony to protest the war. 50 people were present for short address by Executive Director Bergsteinn Jónsson and Communication Director Sigríður Víðis Jónsdóttir as 400 teddy bears were placed around the Sólfar sculpture, each representing a child that has drowned at sea since the picture of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who died last autumn, shook the world.
This event is one of two the local division is hosting this week as part the #segjumSTOPP (“Let’s Say Stop”) campaign. The other takes place this Thursday at 17:30 at KEX Hostel, where AmabAdamA, Sóley, dj. flugvél og geimskip, Kött Grá Pje, Milkywhale, and Úlfur Úlfur play a benefit concert for children in need.
Fundraising director Steinunn Jakobsdóttir says a report released yesterday shows that 8.4 million children are currently in need of emergency care in Syria and its surrounding countries.
“2.4 million children of Syria now live as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. 2.8 million Syrian children are out of school,” she points out. “3.7 million Syrian children under the age of five have known nothing but a lifetime shaped by war.”
Those interested can show their support by texting stopp to the number 1900 to donate 1,900 ISK, or visit their Syria relief website.
Follow Iceland’s branch of UNICEF online here.