Supporting Syrian Voices of Resilience

The SalamaTech Project builds the capacity of Syrian civil society to communicate safely and effectively online.

st-en-temp-2The Syrian conflict is the first protracted war to be fought on and through the internet. All actors use the internet to organize, plan, and share information; some use it to document human rights abuses and bear witness; others use it to propagandize, collect intelligence, sow fear, and win followers.  

Currently, the Syrian social media space is dominated by the voices of militant actors. Social media is used as a weapon of war. By contrast, the voices of Syrian non-violent actors have been drowned out by the noise of violence and extremism. To the outside world, the concept of Syrian civil society has been largely reduced to that of powerless “refugees.”  

But Syrian non-violent citizens – who believe in peace, in human rights, in justice – are still there, working hard on the ground and in their places of refuge for a better future.  It is these courageous men and women – both inside and outside Syria – that SalamaTech aims to empower.

Since 2012 SalamaTech has helped non-violent Syrians stay safe online and make their voices heard. In providing Emergency Tech support, we assist Syrians who have been arrested or had their accounts hacked. We encourage Syrian civil society organisations to operate securely with Digital Safety Audits and Real-Time Remediation. Our network of Information Freedom Champions provide in situ Be Heard training to support people caught by conflict inside Syria. Together we are empowering a chorus of Voices of Resilience – who will be heard.

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 How We Have Helped

  • 617,928 users visited our web portals
  • 3221 Syrians supported through our Emergency Help Desk
  • 9 Civil Society Organizations Protected
  • 1332 Syrians trained in-situ
  • 183,445 followers on Facebook
  • 30 685 users on Be Heard since launching in March 2016
  • 52 How To Guides Posted, +63 in Development
  • 9 Training Modules Published

 

What Syrians Are Saying About Our Work

“We, the Facebook Media Group, have worked since 2011 as citizen journalists in Syria. Our mission is to pass information to the outside world. Some of our people have lost their lives to deliver this news on our Facebook pages. However, we have had a lot of our Facebook pages closed. Thanks to SalamaTech we now better understand Facebook community standards. Thank you. We wish that your team could act as a permanent mediator between us and Facebook.”

Founder of Media Facebook Group, Syria

“Thanks for Salamatech’s help. Our accounts and devices were hacked several times as we are on Skype groups and we get all sorts of link. Many of us know how to use technology, but we lacked awareness and neglected our responsibilities and ability to protect our devices and data.”

Auditee in Homs, May 2016

“We have seen a substantial change in our page. The level of engagement has increased significantly. Targeting the right  audience with relevant messages has really had a great impact on the page. Thanks to Salamatech.”

LAC Darayya, May 2016

“We really appreciate Salamatech’s assistance. We are working in very difficult and dangerous situation. Sometimes, we wonder if people know that we exist. What hurts us most is that when we communicate with donors or humanitarian organizations they are surprised to know that there are civilians in our area. Yes, we serve a population of 50,000 in a besieged area. We need people to know that there are brave people here who are risking their lives to save lives. It means a lot for those courageous volunteers”.

White Helmets, Douma

“We mainly worked on social media topics, like Twitter and Facebook, as well as some promotional and technical topics. We also spoke about important things, including lectures with those responsible for publishing, and the those in the press office in the Suburbs of Damascus. The results are really great. We got a lot of feedback on how our performance improved from the Civil Defence Headquarters. People are engaging more with our content. Thanks to Salamatech, now people can see what our brave youth is doing.”

Trainee from White Helmets in Ghouta

“The training was great. We found it extremely useful. In Northern Homs, we never had training. On the one hand, we are happy that we learned something new. On the other hand we just feel that we were doing everything wrong. It is true, we hardly use Twitter. We post videos without any descriptions. We are looking forward for more trainings.”

Al-Rastan Media Centre, Homs