The protests, which began in the southern town of Deraa, have now spread to other towns and cities, including the third-largest city of Homs and Baniyas on the Mediterranean coast. Protesters have been calling for greater freedom, an end to corruption, and increasingly - the toppling of President Assad.
SOS Children's projects are safe
Despite the unrest, all SOS projects, children and staff in Syria are safe. Life at the two SOS Children's Villages of Aleppo and Qodsaya continues fairly normally, with children continuing to go to school and youths to University. However, at both Villages, security has been increased and food stocks have been replenished in case of emergency. However, transport conditions remain arduous because of road blockades, making the day-to-day running of the National Office increasingly difficult. Some SOS staff have been unable to travel to work.
During the eight-week uprising thousands of arrests have taken place nationwide and several hundreds of deaths are reported. In spite of the deployment of security and military forces, thousands of protesters returned to the streets across the country.
SOS Children has been working in Syria since 1980 and at present there are two SOS Children's Villages, two SOS Youth Homes, one SOS Nursery and one SOS Social Centre supporting hundreds of vulnerable children and families.