Syrian who sought shelter in Sudan aims to show how refugees can make a difference

Published: Updated:

A Syrian refugee living in Sudan, who says he wants to show how refugees can make a difference, is helping to supply clean water to Ethiopians fleeing conflict at home.

Student Salam Kanoush, 29, fled Syria in 2016. He says he was kidnapped and robbed while leaving Aleppo and bombing attacks made it unsafe for him to remain at his university in Damascus.

Kanoush says his mission is to prove that refugees can bring about change and has devoted his free time to helping other refugees and people in need.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“In Sudan I wanted to give an example that refugees are not really problems,” he told Reuters.

“Now we hear refugees are related to sadness and poor people and they are always in need, but we are not like that, some people can really make a change.”

Volunteering for the Italian aid organization COOPI, Salam works on purifying water, setting up transport routes and locating water sources to help Ethiopians arriving at the Hamdeyat border reception center.

Salam has also volunteered in other refugee camps during his time in Sudan and has founded an organization in Sudan’s eastern Kassala state that empowers women and young people to start their own businesses.

A month-long war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has sent 45,000 refugees into neighboring Sudan.

Read more:

Coronavirus: From Syria to COVID-19 frontline, stateless scientist eyes vaccine

UN pleads with Ethiopia to allow aid reach Tigray’s refugee camp

Sudan needs $150 million to help Ethiopian refugees, says UN