Why These Kids Are Posing With Pikachu Even Though They've Never Played Pokémon Go

Gotta help 'em all.

The deadliest conflict this century is still ongoing — and most Americans are not even fully aware of it.

What began as a peaceful protest during the 2011 Arab Spring against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad grew to become the Syrian civil war. Over a quarter of million people have died in the conflict over the past five years.

Caught in the middle of the conflict are millions of displaced children. These kids have seen their homes destroyed. Some are without their parents. Many are in need of food and medical attention, but there are fewer hospitals and schools around because they are easy targets for bombs.

The Revolutionary Forces Of Syria, described by the Washington Posts as a coalition of activist-journalists opposed to Assad's regime, want the world to pay attention to the plight of these kids. So they creatively came up with a campaign that capitalizes off of the immense popularity of the Pokémon Go game.


Using its social media channels, RFS is distributing photos of Syrian kids holding printouts of Pokémon. The pages also display the child's name, their town and a plea of "save me."

Though Mahmod Abo Bakr, RFS social media editor, told NBC News that many of the children didn't know what a Pokémon was, the powerful photos are reaching millions of people online with the hashtags #PrayForSyria and #PokemonInSyria.

"Syrian children are victims of the war and the brutal and indiscriminate attacks that are carried out on a daily basis by regime and Russian jets," Abo Bakr said. "The Syrian children are paying the price for the international inaction to stop the Assad killing machine."

In January, the U.N. announced it was sending humanitarian aid to Syria's hardest-hit towns. Despite this good news, more aid is sorely needed.

According to aid organization watchdog Charity Watch, there are numerous reputable humanitarian organizations that are collecting aid for Syrian refugees, and monetary donations are always welcome.


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