White Helmet volunteers in Syria have helped to reduce the death toll by rescuing citizens

White Helmet volunteers in Syria have helped to reduce the death toll by rescuing citizens

A group of volunteers made up of ordinary men and women have launched a new project aimed at creating more peace in Syria, and rescuing victims of the ongoing conflict in the region.

Some 250 volunteers form part of the White Helmets Civil Defence team- a number that rises monthly. They regularly rescue survivors trapped under the rubble of the airstrikes occurring in the country at the moment.

Over 10,221 lives have been saved in the past few months alone by this group – and this number is growing daily. The team of volunteers is made up of everyone from community activists, engineers, painters, students, firefighters, ordinary people and defectors, among others.

To put it lightly, they have their work cut out for them. Some neighbourhoods are subjected to bombing 50 times a day and, after three-and-a-half-years of civil war, the death toll now stands at over 191,000. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 50 percent of Syrians have now fled to other parts of the country or across the border.

However, in areas where these volunteers operate, the death toll is reduced. In addition to rescuing those trapped underneath rubble, volunteers also produce a home safety manual that contains a section on chemical weapons along with ideas for games to help children spot unexploded bombs.

The volunteers also state they will help anyone – regardless of their political views.

Over 26 volunteers have been killed while helping their fellow citizens in the last few months alone. The White Helmets mostly deal with the aftermath of government air attacks. They have also been known to risk sniper fire to rescue bodies of regime soldiers to give them a proper burial.

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