6 New Insights about Iraq and Syria from CRS Student Ambassadors

We just love it when our CRS Student Ambassadors educate their campus communities about global justice issues.  Fortunately, it happens ALL the time.  We also love it when CRS Ambassadors themselves learn something new.

Here are 6 insights they have shared with us based on experiences planning events this semester:

1.   “I was shocked to find out that the World Food Programme had to cut off emergency assistance to 1.7 million Syrian refugees because of lack of funding. This issue of lack of funding for the crisis is truly a global one, because so many nations have pledged funds but not committed them.” 

           - Charlie Bates, Villanova University

2.    “I was impacted by the fact that doctors, teachers, professionals of all kinds are just sitting, waiting. They don't have outlets to practice their professions and do good work. Their dignity is being stifled by this lack of opportunity to contribute to their communities.”

  • Sarah Garwood, Villanova University

3.   “I think one of the most surprising elements of our event on campus was how closely the topic hit home. Having a Syrian-American student share a personal story of relatives experiencing traumas and living through the realities of conflict on a daily basis made what has become a forgotten issue very real.”

  • Nicole Davidow, Fairfield University

4.    “I was very alarmed by the reality of mental health issues among children.  4 and 5 year-olds only know war and fleeing. Pictures that children draw are covered in red and show violent depictions of warfare.  It is overbearing that an entire generation has been impacted in this way.”

             - Kelly Crowley, University of Scranton

5.    “I was surprised to hear that we’re only sending a fraction of aid to Syria.  We need to show our nation’s leaders that we care about the Syrian Refugees and want America to do more on this front.”

            - Deirdre McElroy, Fairfield University 

6.    “I was deeply impacted by comparing the huge numbers to a more local, tangible reference. The number of Syrian and Iraqi people suffering from a lack of basic resources is roughly 13.6 million, or 9 times the population of Philadelphia.

            - Sarah Garwood, Villanova University