The founder of One Light Global - a 501c non-profit, is American Zo├ź Wild - A former Buddhist nun and life coach who has worked as a chaplain, grief counselor, and meditation teacher and facilitates workshops for people who have experienced trauma and to establish peace and reconciliation between cultures in conflict.
As a result of her experience on the Greek island of Lesvos and the incredible support she received, she founded One Light Global and is now devoting her life to creating a world where every person is safe, happy and has the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Zo├ź spent a month on the island of Lesvos volunteering to assist refugees arriving in Greece with hopes of recieving asylum somewhere in the European Union.
But, thier hopes of a safer life in the European Union kind of ground to a halt and millions have become displaced persons in Turkey
Currently her team is in Istanbul, including Zo├ź and Syrian American Sam Hamoui, and within a few short weeks they have already been able to open a center exclusively for female refugees.
Fortunately, a school they are working with in Istanbul generously offered precious space to them for that very purpose, and with the funds from donations they were able to pay a contractor to fix it up, buy enough professional sewing machines and equipment to set up a learning center and workshop.
It is now a place where these refugee women can make textiles and either sell them - or simply learn to create textiles and then go to work for local industries.
At this new center being created by One Light Global, the Syrian women will find safety and a community of women just like themselves.
A space where they can recieve support, their kids can be watched while they learn Turkish and English, and where they can receive trauma therapy all at no cost to themselves.
One Light Global also bought language textbooks so they can learn Turkish and have arranged for teachers to come to their new center and offer free classes. English classes will also be offered in the near future.
Another room at the new center has been made available to these women refugees in which they can simply gather together and offer support to each other.
There is also a food distribution and storage area for families in need, and they hope to set up childcare so that these women can have their children supervised while they learn. Childcare being the most common obstacle to participating that the women mentioned.
These people are in dire need of your assistance. With over 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey there are an equal number of horrendous stories of war, death and loss of dignity and hope.
A war not of their making has forced them to abandon their homes, possessions and in some cases their families to protect their children. Please do whatever you can afford to ease their terrible plight. Donate to One Light Global. For US residents it is tax deductible.
If you need further convincing that these refugees should be assisted just read the following letter posted on the One Light Global blog which sums up why Syrian refugees need and deserve the assistance of the global community.
The predominent color scheme in Aleppo these days would appear to be gray. Like most of Syria it is a bleak, dangerous and depressing landscape as detailed by a son of Aleppo.
The letter was recieved by a Syrian man named Rabi Bana, a human rights activist born in Aleppo, Syria in 1984, who left there in late 2012. He now works in Beirut and Turkey for an international NGO that supports Syrian civil society.
The writer of the letter was a man born in Aleppo in 1980, who has been involved in peaceful protest demanding freedom and democracy from the beginning of the uprising in 2011. He is a founder of the Aleppo Media Center and works in education for the city government:
You ask about Aleppo, let me tell you about the city where we grew up together.
We haven't seen a good day in years. The shelling never stops, even for an hour or two. Life has changed, all the places you remember are gone: forget them, it is too painful.
The bombs dropped by the regime are indiscriminate, destroying everything in their path. Everything is changed, destroyed or deserted, without life.
Even in our dreams we no longer know what ÔÇťsafetyÔÇŁ means. Every time you open your eyes you don't know if it the last time you will see your kids.
The people you used to know are not here anymore. People from the surrounding towns and villages have moved to the city in the past few years, hoping to find safety. Aleppo was always seen as a safe place.
But many of them had to move on. People keep trying to find safer places, so they keep coming and going. We are happy to help, but it is hard and we get tired.
Aleppo is not fully besieged yet. But moving around our city has become very difficult. People are living day by day; their hope has died along with their city and, many times, their loved ones.
The simplest things in life have become very hard. To buy food, bread or water for your family you have to wait in a long, long lineÔÇôand then keep waiting.
You spend all the time looking around, paying attention to every noise, as if you could hear whether you are the next one that will be hit by a strike.
The remaining time, you think about your family: will they be still alive when you get home? Will your home still be there?
In the end you may get what you came for. If you are lucky you get home safely, without being killed by a bomb from a plane.
It is not just fighting on the front lines, it's not just the continuous bombing. There are snipers hidden in every corner on the way out of the city.
We are constantly adapting our lives. Schools have had to move underground, and medical centers have to manage with limited supplies.
We tried to build new democratic institutions: we elected new leaders. Everything has been a struggle.
We tried to go north to different neighborhoods, but bombs were falling there.
We could see the planes flying above us, they sometimes display Syrian flags, sometimes Russian, sometimes we donÔÇÖt even know. It feels like they are following us everywhere we go.
The surrounding communities of Anadan, Marah, Tal Refat, Hretan, Bynoon, Azaz are also suffering. These towns and villages started a peaceful revolution.
They stood with Aleppo when Syrian government forces attacked civilians in the city. They took in people fleeing the bombs and the shelling.
But what happened to them? They were bombed, every single day. People do not know who the planes are aiming for and whether they will be next to die. Tens of air strikes per day, for the last 120 days.
And now it is time to leave. I didnÔÇÖt ever expect this time would come, but I have to give up. I am leaving for a place I am not sure even exists.
Many friends of mine are already waiting along the Turkish border. It is an open, cold space, crowded with 70,000 people, where the temperature is freezing.
But my heart will always remain here.
Aleppo stands in front of a big war machine armed only with small weapons. It is not just a geographical target. Aleppo is karama, it is dignity, it is the revolution against injustice.
Goodbye Aleppo; my hometown, the place where I spent my childhood, where all my memories are.
I hope to see you there again one day, my friend.
Your childhood companion,
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