Burgh teen attends petition handover

PETITION HANDOVER: Burgh teen Charlotte with other Oxfam campaigner at the meeting with Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson MP.
PETITION HANDOVER: Burgh teen Charlotte with other Oxfam campaigner at the meeting with Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson MP.
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A Burgh le Marsh teen was among Oxfam campaigners who travelled to London last week to hand over a major petition urging the Foreign Office to do all it can to bring peace to Syria and end the humanitarian crisis ravaging the country.

Charlotte Stone, 19, joined other Oxfam campaigners from all over the country to meet with Hugh Robertson MP, the Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, and hand in a petition that was collected throughout the summer at UK festivals.

The Love Syria petition calls for a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Syria and urges the UK government to use their global influence to help deliver peace talks in November.

Charlotte campaigned at Bestival and the Isle of Wight festivals this summer as well as in her local community during the same period.

She said: “Throughout the summer I volunteered as an Oxfam Festival Campaigner. This was really interesting, as we had to speak to festival-goers about the complex situation in Syria in a fun and interactive way.

“Asking people to show their solidarity for Syria through photos and messages worked really well and the response from people was so enthusiastic.

Minister Robertson was presented with a short film showing the highlights of the campaign and a giant piece of artwork which was made up of messages written by the UK public across the summer.

Mr Robertson said: “I welcome Oxfam’s initiative, which shows just how much support there is for those suffering in Syria.

“That is why the UK is leading international efforts on the humanitarian response by pledging an extra £100m to help get essentials such as food, water and medicine to Syrian people in dire need. The UK’s funding for Syria and the region is £0.5 billion.”

“That’s the largest total sum the UK has ever committed to a single crisis.

“At the same time we are also working hard towards finding a political solution which will bring an end to this brutal and bloody conflict.”

Oxfam says more than eight million Syrians are now in need of humanitarian help; 6.8 million people inside the country - nearly a third of the population - and over two million who are now refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.

Charlotte continued: “Being able to come along and personally hand in the petition to Minister Robertson at the Foreign Office has been an incredible opportunity.

“I was able to talk about our campaigning and represent the tens of thousands of people across the UK who have signed the petition and shown solidarity for the people in Syria”.

Oxfam is helping over 220,000 people inside Syria, Jordan and Lebanon providing water, sanitation and shelter and says it hopes to reach a further 650,000 by the end of March 2014.