Yesterday the World Health Organisation visited our new hospital project in Deir Ez-zor, Syria and has pledged to support this essential, life-saving medical service of ours by providing some additional equipment and supplies. We have also been provided with a free building for our team to use alongside our Meditainers by the Ministry of Religion in Syria for the patients who need to be hospitalised. These are such precious blessings which don't come easily in a place like Syria. We are so thankful.
As well as being so helpful, this kind of support from two very different but important sources demonstrates how much these services are both needed and valued. I am so encouraged by the support that this project has gained locally in Syria, and the endorsements and credibility that this kind of acknowledgement gives our work. It is my hope and prayer that we, in our different circumstances here, will be able to bring so much more to it. Saving lives and bringing love is all about partnership and working together for a common goal.
Our team in Syria have been working so hard over the last weeks and months preparing our "Meditainers" and the site where our first medical facility is opening. Al Rahmie hospital meaning "mercy" is almost ready to open to all civilians in the area, and will provide life-saving surgery from these Meditainer units as well as other essential medical services.
Over the last few days our team on the ground have been carrying out practical assessments of the local doctors and nurses we have shortlisted, to choose the most appropriate to join our team. It is essential to use as many of the local qualified doctors and nurses as possible and we want to provide employment and training for these local professionals who will serve their community for the long term.
I am personally so excited about this project. It has taken such a long time to bring this to fruition in the context that we always imagined and hoped our Meditainer project should be; serving the most vulnerable in the toughest and poorest places. It truly lifts my heart to see Al Rahmie hospital starting to take shape, and also seeing the enthusiastic local response and support for what is, unquestionably, a desperately needed life-saving service. We feel honoured and privileged to be able to support these people who have survived unimaginable suffering.
Deir Ez-zor was a poorer area even before the war, but Syria has suffered seven years of conflict, and people lack the ability to earn a living and support their families. This area has suffered three years of occupation by ISIS with all the brutal governance that this brought. There is so much to rebuild. The most important things that need to be rebuilt are hope and humanity.
The medical services in this area are completely depleted. The only true hospital in the city of Deir Ez-zor was partially destroyed when it was bombed, and it is struggling to provide a meaningful service now. Yet there are around 900,000 people living in this governate, and they need medical provision. It is especially needed in an area where there are such high levels of poverty and fighting still persists. Many areas and homes are still riddled with landmines and unexploded bombs.
I especially want to thank our Director of Relief and Medical Projects, "Dr A" who has worked tirelessly, day and night, under circumstances that are more difficult than any of us could possibly imagine. He is a true blessing to the people of Syria as well as to our work. He and the team there have been pivotal in bringing light in the darkness, a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
Al Rahmia is the first of three small hospitals based around our "Meditainers" that we plan to open in and around Deir Ez-zor. The second will be called Al A'adel meaning "Justice" and the third will be called Al Eeman meaning "Faithfulness".
We want to raise an additional £5,000 per month in standing orders to support these life-saving projects. This will contribute to the costs of paying the doctors and nurses, providing tanks of water, running the generators and providing essential supplies and medications. Every penny donated to these medical projects, including gift aid, goes directly to supporting these projects. We do not use any of these funds to pay UK salaries or overheads. If you can help us raise this support, you will be helping to save lives in one of the toughest places. You can download the form for our medical projects here www.samarasaidappeal.org/giving
Whether we feel that we only have a little to spare, or whether we feel we have a lot, every pound shared makes a difference. This is an opportunity for each of us to give back something, as an act of gratitute, mercy and compassion. We can be grateful for comfortable lives in the West where medical provision is something we can take for granted, and where social security is something we can depend on in difficult times, and where employment is easy to find and food is affordable for most.
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