Raw: Dutch Student's Relief Effort in Syria

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News,World

Wijbe Abma, a dutch student and founder of 'Don't Forget Syria', has been on a mission to deliver aid to Syria. In January he gave away 500 blankets. (Jan. 31)

SHOTLIST:

SOURCE - RESTRICTION: AP Television - AP Clients Only

Location - Date: Bab Al Salam - Jan 2013

1. SOUNDBITE (English) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

"I have some money and I read some articles; they needed blankets and many other things in this camp. So I thought maybe I can buy like a hundred blankets and bring to this camp."

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

"Last time I was in Aleppo it was pretty continuous shelling. One time very close with the whistling sound and everything. But now last week, not so much."

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

(Reporter question: And who gave you the money?)

"People from The Netherlands mostly, some people from, who I met all over the place."

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

(Reporter question: And who gave you the money?)

"People from The Netherlands mostly, some people from, who I met all over the place."

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

"Putting 20 blankets in the personal carrier. Oh, well. It's better than nothing."

6. SOUNDBITE (english) Wijbe Abma, Dutch student, founder of "Don't forget Syria":

"You see they have no windows. They put some, what is it, paper in front of the wall. No stove here. 19 people."

7. Various of Bab al Salam border crossing and Abma buying blankets

STORYLINE:

While displaced Syrians struggle with severe fuel shortages and winter temperatures that drop below freezing, a Dutch student is bringing blankets to the war-torn country to help people keep warm.

21-year-old Wijbe Abma, who is a Dutch national but was born in Germany, decided to spend his own money on blankets after hearing stories of human tragedies caused by the conflict in Syria while backpacking in Europe and Asia.

Finding himself in Turkey near the Syrian border he visited Bab al Shalam, a makeshift camp just inside Syria hosting thousands of displaced people, Abma decided to come back to help.

"I have some money and I read some articles; they needed blankets and many other things in this camp. So I thought maybe I can buy like a hundred blankets and bring to this camp," said the Dutchman.

Abma, who is doing a bachelor's degree in human geography focussing on the fields of international aid and development, bought the first 100 blankets at eight US dollars each with money he had earned by working as a part-time postman in The Netherlands and by tutoring English part-time in South-Korea.

The Dutch student now collects donations through a website he set up called dontforgetsyria.com which allowed him to pay for 500 blankets which he took to Aleppo in northern Syria.

Abma said: "Last time I was in Aleppo it was pretty continuous shelling. One time very close with the whistling sound and everything."

The student works with the help of local activists and some rebel groups. He has now raised over 17-thousand US dollars.

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