Frequently Asked Questions

#CookForSYRIA is a nation-wide fundraising initiative curated by Clerkenwell Boy in collaboration with SUITCASE Magazine, Gemma Bell PR and Next Generation London. The month-long campaign focused around Syrian cuisine will encourage everyone from the UK’s top chefs to people at home to cook and raise money in aid of Unicef UK’s Children of Syria Fund. There are hopes that the initiative will then be continued globally.

Is this a one-off event?

  • There will be a fundraising dinner to be held at 180 The Strand on 31 October 2016
  • In addition to the unique fundraising dinner, we will also invite other top chefs & restaurants across London and the UK to participate in the #CookForSyria campaign throughout November
  • They can do this by volunteering to re-invent their signature dishes by adding a inspired Syrian twist and by making it available to guests for one month. A portion of the proceeds will go Unicef’s Syria relief fund
  • The plan is to take the London event and inspire others across the UK and the globe to #CookForSyria (so similar events could potentially be hosted in New York, Paris, Sydney, etc in 2017)

I’m not a chef but want to get involved. What can I do?

  • The campaign has been designed to encourage everyone to get involved. You don’t even need to leave your house to participate in the #CookForSyria campaign
  • Anyone can get involved by planning their own Syrian-inspired supperclub or bake sale and sharing the images online to raise awareness (in addition to fundraising)
  • People can donate or share recipes and encourage others to #CookForSyria
  • Spread the word via social media with the hashtag #CookForSyria tagging @CookForSyria @UNICEF_UK and @NextGenLondon
  • We will also be sharing some Syrian inspired recipes shortly

What is Syrian cuisine?

Who can I contact for more information?

Please email hello@cookforsyria.com

Who is involved?

  • Unicef’s NEXTGeneration London – a global Unicef initiative bringing together diverse groups of young professionals who are committed to helping transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
  • Clerkenwell Boy – Top Foodie Instagrammer (145k+ followers), Editor @London on Instagram (~2m followers), Contributor @SUITCASEmag, Judge @the_YBFs & #ESRestaurantAwards, Power 1000 ‘Most Influential People in London’
  • Serena Guen of SUITCASE Magazine – Founder and CEO @SUITCASEmag, “25 under 25” most influential Londoners (Evening Standard), the “Mark Zuckerberg of publishing” (Bloomberg), “Woman of the Future” Award for Media, Founding Member UNICEF’s Next Generation London
  • Gemma Bell – Founder & director at one of London’s leading restaurant PR agencies, working with top chefs, restaurateurs, bars and hotels across London and around the world

Why Syria?

The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with the lives of more than 8 million children in danger. Many have lost family, friends and schools and have been forced to flee their homes. 50% of all Syrian refugees are children and boys as young as 7 are being recruited to fight. The risk of losing a generation grows with every day that current situation deteriorates.

Why raise money for UNICEF?

  • As an apolitical organisation, Unicef is one of the only charities that can get access in hard to reach conflict zones in Syria.
  • Unicef takes a leading role in the region, coordinating various NGOs and supporting local partner charities on the ground
  • Unicef achieves almost unrivalled economies of scale which means more of your donations can go straight to the cause.

What has UNICEF done for the crisis to date? 2015

Inside Syria:

  • More than 7.9 million people were provided with access to safe water
  • Two rounds of polio vaccination campaigns reached over 2.9 million children. No new polio cases have been reported in the country since January 2014.
  • Over 1 million children, including in hard to reach areas, accessed learning material through the printing and distribution of text books. This was done at a time when printing was no longer possible locally because of damage to infrastructure.
  • Nearly 841,000 children received psychological support.

In the neighbouring countries, UNICEF and partners:

  • Provided over 2.5 million people with safe drinking and domestic water.
  • Vaccinated over 16 million children under 5 against polio.
  • Helped more than 630,000 refugee children enrol in formal education.
  • Provided over 377,000 children with psychosocial support services
  • Provided around 184,000 children under 5 with multi-micronutrient supplements including Vitamin A.
  • Reached over 139,000 children with winter supplies including blankets, clothes, heating supplies, cash and vouchers.

How much do you plan to raise?

As much as possible! The sky is the limit.

Where does the money go/ what portion actually goes to UNICEF?

Your funds will go where they are needed most at the time to protect Syrian children in Syria and the surrounding regions (refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon etc.) Funds will go towards clean water and nutrition for children, maintaining children’s livelihoods in a safe environment, and developing infrastructures where children can continue their education.