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September 18, 2015 4:10 am

Israelis Donate Baby Slings, Other Aid to Syrian Refugees

avatar by Alexander Apfel / Tazpit News Agency

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A Syrian refugee with a baby sling donated by Israelis. Photo: IsraAid.

A Syrian refugee with a baby sling donated by Israelis. Photo: IsraAid.

An Israeli humanitarian relief organization has gone to Europe to assist the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, and languishing on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

IsraAID, an organization founded in 2001, which is committed to providing emergency aid and rehabilitation support to victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises, arrived in Syria this past week, and has already begun distributing much-needed supplies and services.

Speaking to Tazpit, Program Director Navonel Glick explained that the the efforts begin with members of the team sometimes having to dive into the water to save drowning children.

Most of the refugees arrive at the beaches of Lesbos unaware of the arduous journey that lies ahead. In an effort to allay the physical tolls of such journeys, IsraAID has begun distributing baby slings donated by Israeli families to mothers and fathers.

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“The Israeli population has been very responsive in all segments of society and because we are a non-political entity and people really see the human side, we are very happy and proud of this,” Glick told Tazpit.

He further added that the Israeli team has encountered neither rejection nor harsh reactions from the Syrians: “We have had no issues whatsoever. At a certain point it goes beyond any of these emotions.”

In addition to the distribution of medical supplies and baby slings, psychological assistance is provided to many victims who are unable to speak about the horrors that they have witnessed in Syria: “People have gone through something very extreme and there is a need for psychological support. Since we have a lot of Arabic-speakers, a vast majority of the workers in the field are able to communicate and provide aid to the victims and families,” Glick said.

He further highlighted a series of initiatives being undertaken in cooperation with European governments to ease the experience of the refugees. These include the creation of information hubs that enable wandering refugees to charge their phones and surf the Internet.

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