Have you been affected by what you have seen in Syria over the last week, months or even years?
This dear little girl was playing in the rubble left behind by repeated explosions and was injured in the remnants of this destruction. She is from a very poor family and was treated at our hospital, Meljar*, last week.
Every day innocent children and adults are killed and injured in Syria in this war. All they are doing is trying to survive, to earn a living to put bread on the table for their families, to live and to sleep in their homes, and little children need somewhere to play. But this is Syria, and people don't have have the luxury of safety in their day to day lives.
One of the most heart breaking aspects of this crisis is the lack of emergency medical care when these people are injured. July saw a record number of attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria with 43 attacks in that month alone (Syrian American Medical Society). When people are injured, where do they go and who do they ask for help in a place where only one in three hospitals is functional and even these are under resourced? Yet the need for emergency medical care is greatest now because of the relentless conflict which shows no signs of ending soon.
We are providing emergency medical care to anyone in need regardless of who they are, where they are from, no matter what their faith or political views are. Now that ¾ of the people in Syria are living in poverty the free care that we are providing is essential, and is saving many lives that would otherwise be lost in areas where there is no other hope.
Often, the photos that are most important for us to show you are the hardest to capture in an emergency situation, and then also to publicise as they show another human being’s distress and darkest moments. How do we begin to ask for permission to take photos like these in the middle of an emergency, and then to show them if the injuries are severely debilitating or life-threatening, especially if it involves someone’s baby, child, mother, brother or elderly grandfather? At times like this these people and their families are consumed by anger and grief and we want to put their dignity first.
The life-saving work we are doing in Syria only happens at all because people like you make it happen. Every one of you who supports our hospitals with standing orders each month, every one of you who organises an event, fundraises through your church, school, workplace or in your community is helping to save lives. Literally save lives. I am so grateful for all of the love, energy and time that you give to this work because without you it wouldn’t be possible.
If you have been touched be the events in Syria and would like to do something to help these people who are relying on outside help just to survive, please consider taking a look at our fundraising page. www.samarasaidappeal.org/fundraise We are still a long way off from reaching our target for Meljar Hospital.
We need £20,000 in regular monthly standing orders to provide the service that is desperately needed there. Currently we have around £5,500 in monthly standing orders for this hospital but we are spending just over £10,500 and are only able to provide an emergency service with this money. Our hospital is saving many, many lives in this area where there are no other hospitals for a couple of hours drive across rough and dangerous roads. But we are only providing an emergency life-saving service. We are having to treat and discharge patients who should be admitted for further care to stablise their conditions. These are people we wouldn’t dream of discharging in the UK. It is really heart-breaking to hear about the services that are being restricted in our hospital simply because we don’t have the money to cover costs. These people don’t have any other options except our hospital.
If you would like me to come to speak at your church or event about our work I still have some availability for a couple of Sundays in September and October. If you are within a couple of hours drive of Brighton I can usually organise this without too much trouble, if you are further afield it might take a little more planning. As I have two young children and already commit such a large amount of my time to this work I have to try to balance the distance travelled against the amount of time allotted to speak and the size of the audience against the time it takes away from my family. If there is a distance to travel I also ask whether the hosts could help with petrol costs as I don’t spend the money we raise on my expenses. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When we see awful pictures, and hear heart breaking stories about what is happening in the world we all feel outraged and that sense of terrible injustice. These feelings are our call to action as the situation only changes when we take a stand against these unacceptable things. We may not be able to do everything, but we can certainly do something. When your something and my something, and lots of other people's something is added together, we can do a lot and it changes lives, saves lives and brings hope to these people who are feeling abandoned by the rest of the world.
* We change the names of our hospitals to protect their locations and keep our teams and facilities safe in a place where hospitals are actively targeted.