In early 2012, with the massive influx of displaced people to the city of Aleppo, a group of young Syrian volunteers went door to door distributing food, medicine, and clothes to families displaced by the growing conflict.
The growing group of volunteers established SARD in 2013 and entered into our first major partnership with Foundation Caritas Luxembourg, providing critical emergency assistance to IDPs on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Foundation Caritas Luxembourg (FCL) played a significant role in SARD’s growth, strengthening our capacity and investing in our core organisational strategy and technical support. SARD was FCL’s sole implementing partner in northwest Syria for seven years. Thanks to our successful partnership with FCL and in recognition of our successful localization, SARD started to implement projects directly in Syria with other partners and donors in 2020.
SARD expanded to new geographical and sectoral areas in 2019 and 2020.
Following the 2019 displacement waves towards northern Aleppo governorate, SARD expanded operations to A’zaz district. In 2020, we further expanded our operating areas to Jarablus through a local partnership to implement cash and voucher activities.
In 2019, SARD entered into the livelihood sector after building upon a successful pilot project to support conflict-affected households shift from humanitarian dependency toward financial self-sufficiency.
In 2020, SARD broadened its shelter expertise to camp coordination and camp management, leading to establishing a new IDP camp hosting 128 displaced households. SARD started road repair, gravelling, wastewater management, channeling, and shelter emergency assistance in response to widespread flooding.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, SARD also entered into the health sector, supporting health facilities with emergency sanitation facilities and providing personal protection equipment to health staff. SARD provided 20,000 locally-made face masks to vulnerable populations and launched an awareness campaign on social media reaching over 1.5 million with messages on hand-washing, vaccination, and prevention measures.
SARD is committed to a community-based approach, wherever possible, in all assistance sectors, defining viable options to effectively increase resilience and meet basic needs among the most vulnerable. Community inclusion is considered at all stages – design and implementation. This includes the identification of critical needs as prioritized by the communities and the transfer of appropriate knowledge and resources.
We are well-received and respected by the communities we serve. We strive to equitably and effectively address the needs of vulnerable persons and ensure acceptance in host communities by closely coordinating our response with other humanitarian stakeholders, including relevant clusters, international and national partners, as well as local authorities. SARD partners with local and international organisations, including – among others, Foundation Caritas Luxembourg, Welthungerhilfe, Mercy Corps, OCHA, and IOM.
SARD has been Syrian-led and community-driven from the beginning. The strong connection our leadership and teams enjoy with the communities we serve is reflected in our community and settlement-based approach, community-led interventions, and our investment in sustainable solutions in Syria. It is why our non-political and non-sectarian principles are so important to us and why we provide assistance on the basis of need, regardless of race, faith, age, or gender.
Looking forward, SARD aims to provide access to longer-term livelihood solutions and more sustainable services, revitalizing local economies and increasing resiliency, leading to sustainable recovery for all Syrians.