“For the Unseen” believes a lot of people are invisible in today’s world. Their lives have utterly disappeared from public awareness, due to the chaos of political strife, rampant disease, or humanitarian crisis wrought by war. These people have gone from bare survival to living on the edge of death. All this is happening despite new technology that has brought the world closer together. But perhaps that is part of the problem — now, people filter. Many see only what they want to see. Founded by a 27-year-old digital native, “For the Unseen” seeks to challenge just that.
This is why “For the Unseen” volunteers are providing person-to-person service in struggling nations. They are not only providing critical life-saving assistance that gets people from one day to the next, as important as that is, they are also implementing long-term humanitarian projects that dignify these people. Being seen brings their personal stories — and their souls — back to life. The direct interaction shows they are not alone; helps inspire and empower these unseen individuals to continue living.
All this came out of a single conversation with a close Syrian friend who cried explaining the traumatic loss of a family member killed because of the war in Syria. “For the Unseen” founder Puneh Ala’i felt inclined to fundraise and deliver aid with her own hands. She threw caution to the wind and went to Syria herself. She didn’t want to simply throw money at a distant problem. She wanted to show a nation that someone actually did care. She wanted to show them that this love couldn’t be explained away. It didn’t come from being Syrian, or Muslim, or any other “reason” — other than the fact that they number among the Unseen.
Ala’i’s first trip to Syria, March 2013, ignited a fire within her and led to the establishment of “For The Unseen”. After giving aid directly to the Syrian people and children inside a war-torn country, she felt empowered to be the voice of the unseen all around the world. Now, through her not-for-profit organization and incredible team, she hopes to take similar work to nations globally. Click here to read more about her time inside of Syria.