Today marks the five year anniversary of the start of the civil war in Syria, and international NGOs are banding together to put pressure on authorities to end the conflict and protect those in need. To this end, Iceland’s division of UNICEF is launching a campaign called #segjumSTOPP (“Let’s Say Stop”), and putting on two special events this week.
Today at 16:30, following a short address by Executive Director Bergsteinn Jónsson and Communication Director Sigríður Víðis Jónsdóttir, 400 teddy bears will be arranged around the Sólfar sculpture near Harpa, each representing a child who has drowned crossing the Aegean Sea since the picture of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who died last autumn, shook the world. This silent and symbolic gesture is a call for action to provide children and their families with the refuge they seek.
On Thursday at 17:30, six Icelandic bands will play a benefit concert at KEX Hostel. Admission is 1,500 ISK (free for children twelve and under), all of which goes to an emergency relief fund for children and their families. The full lineup is as follows:
19:30 dj. flugvél og geimskip
20:30 Kött Grá Pje
22:30 Úlfur Úlfur
In between sets, DJ Silja Glømmi spins the discs.
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.
Civil War In Paradise
Having just finished a conference call with the executive directors of UNICEF, Sigríður Víðis Jónsdóttir is relieved to hear good news from Syria – a weekly report shows that emergency supplies for women and children have reached bombarded Aleppo and Homs in Syria.
SPARKS TURN TO FLAMES: A Conversation With Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir
Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir is very concerned that we don’t position her on our cover as some sort refugee queen or saviour figure. She doesn’t actually want to be on our cover, or any magazine cover for that matter. This much is clear.