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Swanlea schoolgirls help deliver Oxfam’s ‘Love Syria’ petition to Minister

PUBLISHED: 10:15 14 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:43 14 October 2013

Asma Sharif and Tarin Pasha with members of Swanlea School's Oxfam Youth group who helped present petition to Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson

Asma Sharif and Tarin Pasha with members of Swanlea School's Oxfam Youth group who helped present petition to Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson

Andrew Aitchison / Oxfam

Teenagers have helped raise signatures at their school in London’s East End for a nationwide petition calling for government action to help end the civil war in Syria.

Two 13-year-old girls from Swanlea Secondary in Whitechapel joined Oxfam supporters from around Britain to deliver the 48,000-name ‘Love Syria’ petition to Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson in Whitehall.

Asma Sharif and Tarin Pasha are members of the school’s Oxfam Youth action group who are campaigning and fundraising for humanitarian aid.

The minister was also presented with a giant artwork made up of messages written by members of the public.

Tarin said: “The artwork created by illustrators showed messages of hope from the campaign. I’m pleased the Minister thought that providing Syrian children with education is important.”

The petition that Asma and Tarin helped deliver urges the government to use its influence to get the Geneva peace talks going. It highlights the crisis involving eight million Syrians now in need of humanitarian help, nearly a-third of the population including two million refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

The government has committed £500 million to get food and medicine to Syria, the group was told.

The Minister said: “The funding is now the largest Britain has ever committed to a single crisis to find a political solution to bring an end this brutal and bloody conflict.”

Oxfam is helping 220,000 people in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon by providing water, sanitation and shelter. It aims to reach a further 650,000 by next March.


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