A Bradford father-of-three who has returned from a harrowing aid mission to help Syrian refugees is appealing for more desperately needed help.
Muqaddus Khan, who is 28, travelled to Jordan with Bradford-based charity Human Relief Foundation to distribute food, water and toys to thousands of people struggling to survive.
He said the tragic tales he heard during the mission will stay with him for the rest of his life and have made him even more determined to keep raising funds for the refugees now he is back in his home city.
“Seeing the people who have been affected by the conflict is much different to hearing the stories on the news or the internet. Our staff were so upset to hear some tragic tales.
“There were stories of children being threatened with knives and guns. One lady had lost her two oldest sons and there was a set of twin baby boys whose father had been killed a month before they were born.
“Even those who have made it to Jordan are suffering still. Syrian’s are not permitted to work in Jordan, so they rely on charities to feed them and pay their rent. It is terrible for them.”
The Human Relief Foundation has been working with Syrians since the conflict started in March 2011 and has teamed up with the World Food Programme to feed people who have been forced out of their home by conflict in their own country.
So far in Bradford hundreds of young people have taken part in organised events to raise funds for the HRF’s Syria project.
Earlier this month 28 people took part in the Bradford 10k and raised almost £5,000 for the appeal, enough to feed 83 families for one month or one family for six years, said Mr Khan.
The Syria conflict began in 1991 and according to limited statistics available, said Mr Khan, more than 2.5 million people. have been displaced.
It is estimated ten per cent of the Syrian population have left the country and 11.8 million people are in urgent need of assistance.
Although exact official figures are unknown, it is believed about 100,000 people have been killed by the conflict.
“As entry to the country is difficult and so many areas of Syria are cut off from charitable organisations, statistics are difficult to acquire,” said Mr Khan who works as HRF’s fundraising manager.
To donate to Human Relief Foundation, visit hrf.org.uk or call (01274) 392727.