Helping non-violent Syrians communicate more safely and effectively online.
The SalamaTech team formed in 2012 to protect Syrians acutely caught in conflict. At that time, new digital tools were starting to open up incredible new benefits for women, students and civil society groups. Online, people were tapping into new ideas, resources, economic opportunities and ways to connect with each other. But new digital technologies also channel new threats that multiply in crisis zones.
Amid conflict, stolen phones carrying personal data become a grave risk. Cybercriminals hack online accounts or engage in blackmail and extortion. Digital channels are weaponized by extremists on all sides, including through new tactics of gender-based violence. From its earliest days, the SalamaTech team was helping people through real-life emergencies … whether that meant rapidly deactivating a person’s online accounts after a phone theft, or helping a kidnapping victim’s online contacts protect themselves.
That field team remains the heart of SalamaTech. These skilled, non-partisan women and men continue to bring emergency assistance to people in need. But they have also grown into delivering proactive digital safety awareness and capacity-building. They focus on supporting women, youth and at-risk civil society groups who are building peaceful connections among communities—online and offline.
SalamaTech’s activities include:
- On-the-ground training: Training sessions and digital clinics delivered through a network of frontline trainers and partnerships with local training groups.
- Organizational audits: Systematic support for civil society groups, using the unique CyberSTAR framework—from digital safety audits through remediation and training.
- Online resources: Self-help guides, instructional videos and teacher-training packages delivered via SalamaTech’s web portal and resources Wiki.
- Awareness campaigns: Engaging social media content highlighting digital risks—from phishing scams to disinformation—along with self-help learning resources.
- Help desk: Online digital safety assistance, from helping with locked accounts and suspected malware, through to restoring hacked social media accounts.
The team’s approach is deeply personal, but the scale of its impact is expansive. More than 16,000 Syrians have been trained in digital safety through SalamaTech. More than 19,000 have found support through the urgent helpline. Nearly 300 civil society groups have benefited from SalamaTech’s digital resilience program. And people have engaged with the team’s online digital-safety resources more than 8.2 millions times.
This means well over 30,000 Syrians have already transformed their own digital resilience, with countless more learning to recognize their online risks. Many are young people who will go on to build tomorrow’s communities, online and off. Others are women thrust by war into leading households alone. Some are Syrians who want to stay connected with their families abroad. And a good number are leading or supporting civil society groups that have stepped in to fill humanitarian needs at home.
In this modest yet critical way, the SalamaTech team is helping non-violent Syrians build a brighter future.