global vigil
for Syria 2014

Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. Every day children, women and men in Syria are living through unspeakable horror. Nearly half the population has been forced to flee their homes in fear. Over 100,000 people have been killed.

15th March 2014 marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis, three years of failure by the world to end the appalling suffering.

We must tell our leaders: don't let the people of Syria lose another year to bloodshed and suffering. We must stand #WithSyria.

Join our Global Vigil: We want people everywhere to come together, to shine a light of hope for Syria and its people.

Faces for Syria: Upload or ‘donate’ your image and help light up iconic buildings around the world.


Vigils will take place at sunset in the run up to the anniversary in over 30 countries around the world. Find your nearest vigil using the map below, or see how to organise your own here.

Share your involvement

Whether you take part as a group or on your own, please help us make the global vigil’s message resonate around the world – by uploading a photo of you or your group holding your vigil #WithSyria

You can also upload your vigil pictures to our Flickr group:


for Syria

We’re asking people in every country to shine a light of hope for the people of Syria: to take part online and in person, to send a clear message to our leaders that we will not give up on the people of Syria.

To take part simply ‘donate’ your profile picture. Your picture will join thousands of others to form part of an iconic image of support that will reach millions of people around the world.

"By clicking the button above, you agree to the Save the Children terms and conditions and to be contacted by Save the Children and/or a charity coalition partner via email. To change your marketing preferences, please contact us."


On the third anniversary of conflict, let us stand #WithSyria
Film narrated by Idris Elba with exclusive music from Elbow

How to put on a vigil

What is a vigil?

A #WithSyria vigil is a group of people standing together, shining a light in solidarity with the people of Syria. It is not about taking any side in the conflict, but standing with the millions of Syrian children, women, and men who are struggling each day to survive this crisis.

When should the vigil take place?

Vigils will ideally take place at sunset on the 13th March but can also take place any time in the run up to the anniversary.

Who should participate?

It will be important that as many people as possible participate, including children. You can also encourage local celebrities, political representatives, and faith leaders to join.

Where should the vigil take place?

Vigils can take place preferably outside a local or national monument, but vigils can take place anywhere.

Assemble your vigil in a location where it is possible to create a photograph showing the entire building as well as the people attending the vigil.

In countries where the #WithSyria coalition have organised the illumination of a landmark building (this will be in Russia, US, UK, France and Jordan – exact locations to be confirmed) vigils can take place near these and ideally will form part of the illumination.

What should the vigil look like?

The vigil should be as striking as possible to ensure that we’re able to produce compelling images that can be used for social and traditional media. To do this you can use a few different tactics:

a. Use different kinds of light

Candlelit vigils are simple and can be organised anywhere. We also encourage the use of illuminated red LED balloons in your vigil. These balloons light up and helium-filled ones can be released into the sky. (If you would like help in sourcing such balloons, please email mobilisewithsyria@gmail.com) You might also want to use light pens, flashlights, mobile phones or sparklers (taking the necessary environmental and safety precautions!).

b. Write a message at your vigil

You can write a message with candles and/or people holding them. This creates something which is instantly photogenic and can create a powerful image. This could be #WITHSYRIA, the campaign’s hashtag, or simply WITH SYRIA.

c. Colour and scale

Another way to create a visually compelling image is to use a large number of candles, of different colours, or use mirrors, and other colourful objects. The examples show that close-ups of children beside candles can work really well. Sometimes the best picture will be with just one child.

d. Send messages

If using balloons in your vigil, we encourage you to tie simple tags to them, on which participants can write a message to a Syrian. If appropriate, the tag can request that participants also tweet their message using #WithSyria. Helium balloons can be released into the sky, or, if you have environmental concerns, you can release a single balloon symbolically.

Here are two ways we’d like you to share your vigil photos:

  • Via Twitter and Facebook – remembering to use #WithSyria to show your support on social media channels.
  • Via our Flickr group – ensuring you have a Flickr account, then joining flickr.com/groups/WithSyria

NB: Only you and our Flickr group’s administrators can remove your photo from a group pool – we’ll be creating multiple administrators so we can approve requests as soon as we receive them.

Contact details

About us

#WithSyria is a coalition of organisations from around the world (see the latest list below).

Across the world, people are appalled at the scale of suffering, inspired by the depth of courage of Syrians struggling to survive the conflict. After three years of violence, we must show our leaders that we will not give up on the people of Syria, that they must act to bring an end to the bloodshed and to get aid to all those who need it.

We will show every child, woman, and man caught up in the conflict that we are with them, that we are #WithSyria.

Together, we call on all parties to the conflict and all those with influence to:

1. Stop the bloodshed: This means ending attacks on civilians, including schools and hospitals. It means respect for the laws of war and the rights of those affected by the conflict.

2. Ensure all those in need can access life-saving assistance: This means ending sieges and agreeing humanitarian pauses so that civilians can reach help and get to safety. It means removing obstructions to civilians getting the aid they need; and it means ending all attacks on aid workers. It means international donors providing enough funds for the massive international aid response required in Syria and the region.

3. Commit to inclusive peace talks: This means making sure the voices of those affected – including civil society and women - can be heard and heeded.