Three years of conflict, 242 kilometres for Syrian refugees

by CARE International | CARE International Secretariat
Monday, 10 March 2014 13:41 GMT

Dead to Red team. Photo: CARE/2014

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CARE team runs “Dead 2 Red” marathon through the desert to raise awareness for the crisis in Syria/ Syrian volunteers running for fellow refugees

A team of ten CARE aid workers and Syrian refugees will run the 242 kilometre “Dead 2 Red” marathon in Jordan to raise awareness and funds for the plight of more than ten million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The marathon will take place on March 13th.Exactly three years have passed since the beginning of the conflict in Syria.

”The response to this biggest humanitarian crisis of recent times is drastically underfunded. And there is no end of the conflict in sight”, says Wolfgang Gressmann, CARE’s Deputy Director for the Syria Response who will accompany the team through the desert. “Giving up on Syria cannot be an option. Our team is accepting this challenge on behalf of the millions who are suffering as a result of this conflict and who wish for nothing more but peace in their country. The team’s desire is to give refugees and those affected by the crisis inside Syria a voice. It is the team’s wish to call for renewed attention and to remember the humanity and dignity of all those suffering as a result of the three year-long conflict.

The “Dead 2 Red” team brings together CARE staff involved in the emergency response as well as Syrian refugees who work as volunteers in Jordan and Lebanon. The Syrian volunteers running used to work in Syria as an engineer, a graphic designer, a teacher and two students. Now, their lives are on hold.

“I am a Syrian refugee. I have witnessed my mother shot by a sniper and my sister losing her baby out of shock. I am running the marathon so no more sons have to lose their mothers. I am also running to show the world how much Syrians themselves are doing to support their fellow refugees,” says Omran Almish, who volunteers for CARE’s urban refugee centre in Amman.

The relay event will lead the runners from an altitude of -415 metres below sea level through the Araba desert to an altitude of 120 metres above sea level and then to the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, all within 24 hours.
The global runners’ team seeks to raise 50,000 USD in donations to support CARE’s emergency response to the Syrian crisis. In total, CARE has launched an appeal of 200 million USD to assist Syrian refugees over the next four years.

For more information and to support the team please visit

CARE’s Syria Response:
CARE’s provision of life-saving services to Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt and to people affected by the crisis in Syria has already reached more than 290,000 people. In Jordan, CARE provides Emergency Cash Assistance for refugees so they can pay for basic living costs, including rent, medication and food. CARE assists with vital information on how refugees can access further health, legal and social support and provides psychosocial assistance to women, men and children. CARE Lebanon repairs water and sanitation infrastructure, provides health education sessions, works with municipalities to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for refugees as well as for host communities. Syrian volunteers, who are refugees themselves, are an integral part of CARE’s Syria Response. Alongside Jordanian and Lebanese volunteers, they assist in organising and preparing distributions of relief items.

During the winter months, CARE helped families in Jordan and Lebanon to prepare for and cope with the cold winter, distributing cash, heaters, fuel vouchers, blankets and floor mats. CARE Egypt has started raising awareness among the refugees of sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence to protect them from any form of abuse. Our support to families affected by the crisis in Syria is based on humanitarian needs alone, no matter which religion, political affiliation or ethnicity people belong to.

About CARE:
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE has been working in Jordan since 1948. CARE Jordan has extensive experience working with refugees, providing livelihood training and opportunities, emergency cash assistance, information sharing and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees since 2003.

About the Dead Sea to Red Sea marathon
The Dead to Red Marathon is a relay event suitable for amateurs and athletes of all ages and genders without restriction. The marathon goes 242 kilometres from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. It starts at an altitude of -415 metres below sea level, leads through the Araba desert to an altitude of 120 metres above sea level before descending towards the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba. The race starts at 4pm on the 13th of March. The teams have 24 hours (until 4pm on the 14th of March) to finish the race. There is always one team members running at a time. The other team members will follow the runner in a car and take turns. The Dead to Red offers no monetary awards at all. The purpose of this event is to enjoy a challenge, the scenery and have fun. Sponsors support this event by providing T-shirts, medals and nominal trophies for several categories as well as a dinner to celebrate the end of the event and to recognize all participants.

Media Contacts:
Johanna Mitscherlich (Amman),, +962 775442241