24Apr2024

SCM Medical Missions

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Humanitarian AidRefugeesSyriaUncategorized

Greece Missions Extended

A quick update to let everyone know that our missions to the Greek island of Lesvos will continue through January 17th. Please contact Brenda@salaamculturalmuseum.org in the office for more information. You can also download our registration forms on our Dates and Registration page.

We are in particular need of doctors and first responders. The boats are still coming, people still need our help.

GreeceRefugeesSyriaUncategorized

From Career Woman To Refugee

GLOBAL EXCLUSIVE: From Career Woman To Refugee – The 1,500 Mile Journey Of One Syrian Mother

Corinne Redfern 13:36 | 03 Dec 2015

What drives a woman to leave her home and country in the dead of night and become a refugee? Corinne Redfern travelled from Greece to Germany with pregnant Aysha and her two young children to find out why she left Syria – and what the future holds for her.
syrian mother
‘I DON’T LIKE TO THINK OF MYSELF AS A REFUGEE. I used to live in a lovely part of Aleppo, and I spent my twenties studying human research, travelling the country and working as a civil engineer for the government. I met my husband six years ago, when I was 34. He was a doctor, but I remember being introduced to him and not being that fussed. He, on the other hand, pretty much immediately asked to marry me. Eventually I gave in – I think I knew inside he was The One. From then on, we were inseparable. Our house was old and beautiful, with huge, high ceilings, white walls and tiled floors. We spent our days at work and our evenings with friends – eating out, listening to music… being normal.

To continue to the full article, click here.

Greece

Calm before the storm? Mission Update 12/3/2015

12/3/2015

Hi all,

As we gaze towards the Turkish coast, we see the Turkish Coast Guard trolling back and forth all day…and almost no arrivals on this side. Oxy camp is empty. We did some minor jobs and drove down the coast to Skala Camp, also quiet.

Yesterday we helped the Greek Coast Guard to process a group of 74 they had picked up offshore. The buses picked them up by noon and by five o’clock we saw three of the men when we visited Moria Camp, which is nearly empty. Those three men were already being registered, showing how fast the processing has become.

After visiting a likewise-quiet Kara Tepe Camp, we went to the ferry terminal and saw probably a thousand or two refugees queued up to board the 8:00 pm boat to Athens. Our wonderful Arabic speakers assisted in helping sort out some confusion and aiding passengers own what to do.

Today we saw the massive dump site where discarded life vests have been deposited. It really provides a startling visual representation of the population that has fled their violent homelands through this poor island.

Despite their dire economic situation, the Greeks have demonstrated many acts of kindness and humanity. One minor example is that restaurant owners show their support of our efforts with a discount on meals.

No one knows if or when the boats will start arriving again But most believe they will. It is getting very cold, one cannot cross in rubber boats without getting soaked, and nighttime crossings will be terrible, especially for vulnerable children and elderly. We remain vigilant  the next call.

Brian

These photos were taken by Sharif at the harbor. The volunteers helped get the refugees dried and warm. We have extra clothes if they need to change out of wet clothes. The mylar emergency blankets are really helpful because they are small, light, and easy to transport.

Lesvos1 Lesvos2 Lesvos3

Greece

Greece Mission Update 12/1/2015

12/1/2015

Hi all,

We we worked a big boat this morning that may have been overloaded with as many as 250 Kurds. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTxYwLGl1Y0

Later, while we were at Lighthouse beach, we saw the big Greek navy ship go by. With binoculars we could see refugees on the aft deck. We raced off for the harbor only to find they were heading for the customs dock down the coast, so we raced over there. We got there just before the ship did and were able to help the Afghans.

We briefly helped back at the harbor after dinner with a small group.

It is clear that the agreement with Turkey is not going to stop the flow for some time though it has slowed considerably. The Turks will have to make life awfully enticing to make the refugees want to stay. How much can 3 billion  for 2.2 million refugees do?

We stopped by Oxy camp before returning to the hotel but nothing was happening there. Basel was then off to pick up Sharif at the airport.

Brian

Greece

Greece Mission Update 11/29/2015

This is an update sent to us by one of our Greece mission volunteers. His next post will be posted immediately after this, with photos taken just yesterday.

 

11/29/2015

Hi all,

Lively day today with lots of boats. It was the first time that the new team was all together. The first boat that we met was along the road to Scala. The weather was beautiful but the refugees came ashore wet and shivering.

We then went farther down the road where other boats were arriving but there were plenty of volunteers there. As we were about  turn around and head to the harbor, our Greek lifeguard friends shouted, “Stop that car!” A small pickup was leaving the scene and we gave chase. It was some locals who had stolen a refugee’s backpack. We overtook and stopped them and the lifeguards gave them a tongue lashing.

The bulk of our day was spent working two groups brought to the harbor by the Coast Guard. Their boats were taking  water so of course they were soaked. One guy had been in the water alone for over an hour and was found by chance.

The end of the day was spent with a shift at Oxy camp but Nick and Olivia just saw a couple of kids there with Tarek translating. We filled the time until the end of the shift sorting meds.

Regardless of the agreement with Turkey we don’t expect things to quiet down…

That’s all for now

Brian

Humanitarian Aid

We haven’t forgotten

With almost all of our focus on the tragedy of the refugees trying to get to Europe, and SCM’s efforts to help those that arrive in Greece, it would be easy to forget there are others in need in the region. But we haven’t forgotten. In Jordan we are continuing our distribution of humanitarian goods and supplies with the help of local organizations, churches, and mosques.

Recently we teamed with the National Association of Special Needs in Amman to distribute hygiene kits, toys, and some clothing to the people they are helping – children and adults with special needs from all over the region: they are Jordanian, Palestinian, Iraqi, and Syrian. We just wanted to let people know that even though we are focusing on Greece right now, we continue to provide aid in Jordan. We will have another container going to Jordan in a couple weeks that will be taking more supplies for the refugees in Jordan. Warm clothes and blankets, socks, hats, mittens, toys, baby supplies, and medical supplies.