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By: Cat Hodgson

Since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011 an estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes, seeking refuge.  According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 1 million Syrians have taken refuge in the neighbouring country Turkey, residing in refugee camps in the south east of the country near to the Turkish/Syrian border.

Moved by the plight of these people living so far from their homes and with winter approaching our Dubai office set themselves a goal of raising funds to purchase winter garments for the children.  The fundraising initiative was championed by Merve Ozer-Shnaps, Business Development Account Manager – MENA & Turkey and was embraced by all staff members.  Over the course of three months the office hosted regular fundraising activities including an Ice Bucket Challenge and Bake Sale.  The team raised AED 3,300 which when matched by Euromonitor enabled them to purchase winter clothing for over 460 children living in a refugee camp near to the city of Gaziantep.

Merve personally flew to Turkey to arrange the purchase and wrapping of all the gifts.  Although she was unable to stay to be part of the team distributing the gifts she worked closely with friends and colleagues at Gaziantep University to arrange the delivery.  Inspired by the actions of our Dubai office, the University raised additional funds to purchase more clothes and staff and students took time out of their schedules to visit the camp and hand out the donations.

On behalf of Merve I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this project.

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