Who We Are


Emissa is a humanitarian organization, founded and established in the Syrian city of Homs, where our name originates: Emissa is a historical name for Homs. The organization was founded in 2012, when a Syrian grassroots group of volunteers from different ethnical and educational backgrounds came together to support their fellow citizens, suffering from the escalating Syrian crisis.

Today, we are a team of about 280 people, unified by a common belief in human dignity, peace and sustainable development. The objective from the beginning was, and is up to the present day, to support civilians in war and crisis, in particular the most vulnerable, to relieve their suffering and strengthen their resilience to help them overcome the crisis.

What we do goes beyond simply responding to emergencies: We empower communities and thereby contribute to an environment where civilians affected by war can gain back some of their dignity and rights. We help communities to rebuild their lives themselves and support them with expertise and capacity building as well as access to education, vocational training and to the labor market. To create an enabling environment for self-reliance, we assist with the provision of aid and facilitate access to health, shelter and basic services.

We support people from the out-break of a crisis, throughout the crisis and we do not leave when the media stops reporting.

We partner with local and international organizations and closely cooperate with local civic entities and key community members in our working areas. Thereby, we ensure local ownership and sustainability, which are the determining factors for fostering resilience. Our work is guided by clear humanitarian principles and a holistic approach that puts people, their rights and individual needs at the center of all activities.

Where We Work

All our current projects are focused on besieged and hard to reach areas of northern and central Syria, which are some of the hardest hit areas by the war.

Frequent shelling, access difficulties and forced displacement has created incredible hardship for the civilians trapped in our working locations. With the support of our local offices and field staff, in close cooperation with local societies, we make sure that our help responds to the greatest needs.

The forced displacement of the Syrian people has ripped families and entire communities apart. To us, strengthening unity and mutual understanding among communities, including host and displaced communities, is a prerequisite for stability and peace. Thus, equipping the most marginalized groups with skills to engage them in community matters is an integral aspect of our Syria response.

We assess the needs of vulnerable populations thoroughly with the help of our experienced staff. We closely cooperate with local civic actors and we constantly learn from our past projects, which has made Emissa an efficient and indispensable humanitarian actor in Syria.

What We Believe


To implement inclusive and community-based projects, alleviating the suffering and improving the lives of civilians in a sustainable manner.

Through our programs, we engage all people – regardless of their age, gender or religion – in constructive economical participation within their communities to foster self-reliance, we help building bridges between the communities, ensure that civilian’s basic needs are met, and particularly empower children, youth, women and marginalized groups through formal and non-formal education.


We envision unified, self-reliant and resilient communities, living in dignity and protected by a rights-promoting civil society.


We believe in the equality of all human beings, without differentiation, and their right to live in dignity.

We believe that human rights are for everyone and to be protected also in times of war.

We value our accountability that sits at the heart of our institutional procedures, both towards the people we serve and the people who support us.

We honor our integrity and credibility, and are transparent to external and internal audiences.