But really to me the most important thing is the next generation – THE CHILDREN. Every two months I go on a medical mission with groups of doctors from all across the US and also from Europe. I am not in the medical field, but my NGO is supporting the Syrian people and also these great doctors that are giving their time to come and help. I help them by being with the children and talking to them and asking them questions and seeing what we can do to make them laugh, or just put a smile on their face. I let them know that there are people out there that care what is happening to them and to their country.
These kids have been forced to leave their homes, their lives, their schools, friends, and sometimes even their families. They have seen things that I have never seen in my lifetime – people killed in front of them, parents tortured, mothers and sisters raped. This is more than a tragedy; this is a disgrace to the human race what is happening in Syria.
This is a story of human tragedy – not a faceless war. Every single Syrian child has seen or been touched by this conflict. I hear so many stories while in the clinics and in hospitals of how they made the journey to Jordan. There were stories that were told to the group by children of how they just picked themselves up and had to walk for days on end with little water, with a mother that was pregnant, with a brother or sister that had been injured. They would tell us how they lived in the open deserts and sleep in the street with one person watching to see that no one would come and take them or would try and kill them. A child that was so afraid to go to the bathroom since he did not want to be left alone. A young girl that grabbed a small piece of bread and held it so tight in her hand in case someone tried to take it away from her.
Someone today told me that he heard that the Syrians in the camps were not taking care of themselves and not cleaning up around them. I said how can they? They are living in a desert; they are living in sub-human conditions. They are so depressed that they do not want to even get up. Everything that they knew was taken from them and they do not know when they will be able to go back to their own homes. They have all lost more than one member of the family. People should withhold their judgment unless they have been there, been to the camps and the seen the living conditions the people endure, even the ones that are in the urban areas. We all are comfortable in our homes here with running water , a place that we call home and place that we can sit and have friends visit us or have a nice meal. They have NONE of that. How would you deal with a life like that?
We all take WATER for granted. This is the most precious thing to survival and they have very little of it. The water they get is sometimes contaminated, but they might have to wash in it, cook with it and also drink it. We can go out and buy our bottled water whenever we want and drink as much as we want, but those children cannot. Think about that the next time you pour yourself a glass of water and then can’t finish it and you throw it down the drain.
The children living in the camps are considered the lucky ones, the ones living in the urban areas are living in shelters that are not livable. They might have 20 or so people to one room and one bathroom. All they have might be mattress on the floor and nothing else.
You ask the children what do they want or need and the first thing they say is “I want to go to school. I miss my school and my teachers” – they are not asking for candy or toys, but they want to learn.
This is what really concerns me most is the lack of education. This is about the future of the children. The Syrian refugees were going to school, just like the kids in the US. But their education has been cut off. Either there aren’t enough schools or not enough teachers, or just no place for them to study. Schooling is everything for children in the Middle East. Without it how can you find a job? More immediately, how do you fill your days? It is also very critical for children to understand what is happening in their country.
In May various governments where asked to use their influence and to insist on a political solution to this horrendous crisis before more and more people lose their homes, their lives and their futures.
But in the meantime it is up to us to do everything that we can to support aid agencies to help the children to deal with the daily reality of the conflict. Providing humanitarian relief is a must and is our number one responsibility. If you ever wonder where your money goes that you donate, we list everything on this web site of what we do with those funds, from buying medical equipment, medicines, toys, books education tools for the children, etc.
Right now is the month of Ramadan and we have a drive to buy food for families and get this delivered to them so they will have a decent meals of chicken, rice, bread, vegetables and water or formula for the babies.
Aid also helps children get a part of their childhood back. We have opened a center for children where they can come and play and learn and be children, and maybe get a smile on their faces. There is a play area and a learning area. We are training some of the locals to help with the children and have the parents come and see their children at play. We have a social worker and a psychologist there to help the children and their parents deal with the traumas they have experienced. Right now the space is temporary until we can get enough funds to make it permanent. Save the Children had the space but they finished their program so they gave us the space for now since they liked our program and what we were doing with the kids.
Refugees need support to put their lives back together as best they can. When peace does come, they can go home, but in the meantime, we don’t want people to fall into a hellish well of despair. Every day more and more people are fleeing their homeland. We need to help the aid flow and we need to stop an entire generation of Syrian children being lost to war. Please make a donation. Any amount will help, but please do give – SCM is a total volunteer organization so every penny that you give us goes directly to help the Syrian people, and mostly the children.
We have another medical mission on the 6th of September and if you are in the medical field or a social worker and want to volunteer send us an email and see firsthand what is really happening.