Baby slings help Syrian refugees fleeing war with their children

We’ve all seen the incredible, poignant images of Syrian refuges, many of whom are travelling hundreds of kilometres on foot to lead their families to safety. Now a crowd funding campaign will lighten their load.

Among the refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria are mothers and fathers carrying children to Croatia and the Balkans in their own arms. It’s extremely strenuous work. The weight of a baby can get heavy without proper support.

More than 400 backers have raised more than $13,000 in just two weeks on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The money will be used to produce more than 550 baby slings to help make the arduous trek just a little easier. Refugees on the Balkan route are traveling more than 3000km to reach safety, also carrying supplies and food and water as they move.

“We’re aware that these baby slings won’t stop this humanitarian catastrophe, but it will ease the way for the most vulnerable group – mothers and babies – to reach their destination safely,” the campaigners write. “This means not only less weight in mothers’ arms, but also an opportunity for you to feel more human.

Brodoto, a non-profit enterprise based in Croatia with a mission to accelerate social change, will deliver the slings. The team of Talal, Sarah, Kristina and Marko initially wanted enough money to make 100 of the non-toxic baby slings – but were astounded at the support they received.

“Together we have reached the finish line. With 441 backers and $13,266 we are more than pleased with our result and are looking forward to producing more than 550 baby slings,” they say in an update on their website.

The timely announcement comes as people worldwide celebrate International Babywearing Week, October 4-10.

Millions of Syrians have been forced from their homes by violence and war. While the baby sling drive has reached its target, there are plenty more ways to help. A Kickstarter campaign is helping the UN Refugee Agency provide displaced families with the necessities to survive and rebuild. More than $700,000 has been donated so far.

Meanwhile, help your child understand the refugee crisis with our tips on how to answer their questions when they come to you wanting to know more about what they see on the news.

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