Today I watched a documentary on Netflix called “The White Helmets”. If you don’t know, the White Helmets are volunteer rescue workers in Syria who are the first on the scene after an air-strike or bombing. There are 2,900 volunteers working to save lives across Syria who were previously Bakers, Tailors, Blacksmiths, Builders, Engineers, Carpenters. They have no experience, just a desire to help their people and their country. They are heroes.
The volunteers save people on all sides of the conflict – pledging commitment to the principles of “Humanity, Solidarity, Impartiality” as outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation. Not only do they save lives, they provide public services such as reconnecting electrical cables, securing buildings and providing safety information to children. They go into a rescue unarmed and use basic tools to help search through rubble to find and save people, or return bodies to families who have lost a loved one.
I have never been so moved or inspired by such heroic action. These people consider the work they are doing as a duty, as a job. They are willing to sacrifice themselves to save others and 141 White Helmets have lost their lives doing so. They put the rest of the world to shame. We turn our backs on desperate people, the White Helmets do everything in their power to protect and save them. I have never seen people talk about death, bombings and war as calmly as these people do, all because it has become normality. All they hope for is a day when the attacks cease.
They have saved over 60,000 lives and every day this number increases. They have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year, and I cannot think of any other group of individuals who deserve this more. Their heroic action, every day, provides hope for the Syrians who have been unable to leave their war-torn country and fear for their lives every single day.
If you’ve ever needed evidence of the devastation in Syria, of why people are fleeing to Europe on dingy’s and by jumping onto lorries, this Netflix documentary should provide you with that. If you ever wondered why we want to help refugees, this documentary will show you why.
I believe everyone can learn from these people. That selfless actions can change lives, that it is our humanitarian duty to help these people rather the desert them. Their motto should be listed to and adopted by everybody; “To save a life, is to save all of humanity”.
You can watch the documentary here.