South Down Independent Unionist MLA John McCallister has issued an appeal for people to come forward with donations to help those caught up in the Syrian Refugee crisis, and offered to assist with efforts to organise a collection of materials for refugees along with local charities and church groups. In a midweek statement Mr McCallister said: “It is hard not to be shocked by the pictures of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose lifeless body was washed up on a Turkish beach on Thursday. This refugee crisis has reached a bleak climax after three years of brutal conflict in the Middle East, and decisive action must be taken now at a governmental level.
“The people of the British Isles have a long and distinguished history of offering shelter and refuge to any in need, regardless of their origin. I hope this same generosity and compassion will be extended to those fleeing the conflict in Syria, and I have sent correspondence to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to this effect. “In the meantime, with winter fast approaching and with the tragic civil war in Syria continuing to drag on, we must all be aware that the situation of those displaced from Syria could yet worsen significantly. This is why I have made this appeal and am making my office available to anyone who has materials they are willing to donate towards this humanitarian crisis.
“Items such as winter clothing, tents, blankets, soap, razors, shaving foam, toiletries, bikes, first aid kits, and sleeping bags would all be very much appreciated. I also urge any local charities or church groups out there who are making a similar appeal to contact my office so that a coordinated approach can be organised. Anyone wanting to donate items or offer assistance can call my office on 028 4372 7085 and appropriate arrangements will be made”.]]>