Syrian Emergency Task Force, a nonprofit with offices in Washington, D.C., and Little Rock, Ark., has made it its mission to bring an end to the killing in Syria through advocacy, humanitarian initiatives, and the pursuit of justice and accountability for war crimes.
Founded in 2011, SETF today stands as the most notable American organization working on the ground in Syria. Its impacts include providing quality education to war-torn orphans, housing and care for displaced Syrians, delivering basic medicine and baby formula to residents, and providing vocational training for widows of war.
SETF is a longtime Clinton School community partner. Since 2017, Clinton School students have completed nine International Public Service Projects with SETF, with a 10th IPSP set for Summer 2023. Collectively, their work has included advocacy, policy work, community engagement, communication, and development.
Last summer, Araba Eshun and Camille Watson worked to develop content for SETF’s Wisdom House Project – a kindergarten school for children in northwest Syria – and created a public archive for the organization’s Voices on the Ground collection, which features key witnesses’ stories that represent Syrian freedom.
“Learning about (the witnesses’ stories) through research and from the members of SETF was eye-opening,” Watson said. “It opened my eyes to something that needs more attention and help – something that has been ongoing for over 10 years.”
In one of the Clinton School’s first student projects with SETF, Darlynton Adegor created a community engagement strategy in an effort to raise awareness of the Syrian Crisis in a way that would resonate in the United States.
“My day-to-day work was going to community engagement programs,” Adegor said. “To do observations, to do interviews with people who are connected to organizations, and ask them what they felt would be the best approach for the SETF to reach out to the American people.”
Recently, SETF has shifted its focus to delivering essential supplies and cash assistance to victims of the devastating earthquakes in Northwest Syria and Turkey. Recorded as some of the largest earthquakes in the region’s history, they have led to a climbing death toll of more than 5,000 in both Syria and Turkey with thousands more injured in both countries.
SETF has launched an Emergency Humanitarian Relief for Earthquake Victims Fund. All donations go towards buying essential items such as blankets, heaters, water filters, hygiene kits etc. to provide immediate aid through our team members based in the affected areas.
Additionally, SETF has multiple teams entering Syria distributing crucial emergency aid, funds, and supplies. SETF has humanitarian programs operating in the disaster-affected areas of Gaziantep, Idlib, and Aleppo Countryside, which are currently acting as emergency assistance relief centers in their communities.
To learn more about the Syrian Emergency Task Force, and how you can help in response to Syria’s earthquake emergency, visit the organization’s website.
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.