26Jun2022

SCM Medical Missions

Contacts

3806 Whitman Ave N
Seattle WA 98103

info@scmmedicalmissions

+1 206-545-7307

Category: Human Rights

AfghanistanHuman RightsHumanitarian AidLGBTQIRefugees

LGBTQI Afghans in Need

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, Ahmed and his younger brother Mahmoud had no choice but to run. They left their home with all their possessions, found a hiding spot in a tiny room with no toilet or bathroom and stayed there terrified for weeks while their government collapsed and their country changed completely.

Ahmed is gay, in a country where being LGBTQ is punishable by death from the Taliban  – who have avowed to continue this horrific practice. He received death threats and was actively being hunted.

Both brothers are also Hazara, an ethnic minority much persecuted in Central Asia. The brothers’ own father was killed in a massacre of Hazara males when they were small children. They converted to Christianity but being ex-Muslim and Christian puts them in danger from religious fundamentalists, who see renouncing their religion as blasphemy.

Thankfully, they have escaped to Pakistan but they are constantly under threat of being forcibly returned to Afghanistan like many refugees before them. 

We’re helping them apply for safety in the US but there’s a long way to go. If you’d like to sign their petition, click here! 

We are raising funds to help support the brothers while they await the outcome of their asylum claim. Both are talented and hardworking, with a huge variety of experience. We want to support them until they are able to reach safety and become part of and contribute to the community. Ahmed wants to become an LGBTQ advocate, helping people in his situation and Mahmoud wants to complete his studies at university.

Can you help these brothers? We need funds to help maintain them while they receive their asylum claim, and also to find their feet when they arrive in the US. Every little counts!

Please share with your friends and thank you!

Community EventsHuman RightsRefugees

Love Beyond Borders

Please note that this event has been cancelled. The Seattle Men’s Chorus hopes to reschedule the event in the future and we will keep you posted. You can still donate to our New Life Fund to continue to aid the LGBTQ refugees. Thank you for your support during these difficult times.


On March 20 and 21, the Seattle Men’s Chorus will be performing at Benaroya Hall with a program that is intended to spotlight Seattle as an epicenter of an “underground railway” to bring LGBTQ people from areas where they face persecution and threat of death for being LGBTQ. Members of the Chorus have made it their life’s mission to conduct this pathway to safety.

SCM Medical Missions is joining with the Seattle Men’s Chorus to help provide a safe route to refugees, who find themselves in camps or other countries where they are persecuted, attacked and threatened, to obtain asylum in Canada through Rainbow Refugee. You can read more about the Seattle Men’s Chorus and their program, and we hope you will consider attending the concert. SCM will have a table in the lobby providing more information about SCM and our efforts to help protect the most vulnerable refugee populations such as LGBTQ people. You can also donate to our NEW LIFE FUND to help these refugees find safety.

 

GreeceHuman RightsHumanitarian AidRefugees

New Life Fund

SCM is supporting LGBTQI refugees to help them get to safety in Canada. They are extremely vulnerable and are often persecuted within the camps. They need help to get out of the camps and on their way to a new and safe life in Canada, but they lack the resources to do so. As part of our mission to help the most vulnerable refugees, we are starting a new fund to help cover living expenses outside the camps and other fees associated with their asylum and immigration cases. We have people on the ground who are bringing specific cases of people in danger to us that we will assist on a case by case basis and we are partnering with an organization in Canada to accomplish this.

Please help us help them get out of the camps to safety and a new life in Canada.

Human RightsRefugeesSyria

‘What if they don’t let me back in’

‘What if they don’t let me back in’: Seattle-area families still worried after Trump travel-ban suspended

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To continue to full article, click the photo or on this link.

 

Human RightsHumanitarian AidSyria

#Aleppo

SCM is taking donations for Aleppo, and you can support the people there in the following ways:

Shelter Kit   $50

Winter Kit  $43.50

Food Kit  $33

Hygiene Kits   $40

We are partnering with an organization based in Lebanon that is purchasing the supplies and taking them into Syria and getting them to the people in Aleppo.


From Rita Zawaideh:

“The people in Aleppo are asking for the help of the international community – we have been too quiet for so long and now it is all closing in on the women and children and the elderly.  We are working with groups inside and no for sure that the funds will get to where they are intended.

Please help us – I know a lot of us feel powerless at this time and anything we can do will be a savior.  No person should have to go thru this.  We have said time and time again that we can’t let this happen and we are.  The world governments are silent as these horrors continue under our very noses.

I have been crying for days and days and wondering how to get ahold of friends and family that are still living in Aleppo.  I just want to get on a plane or rent the whole plane and take people out and not make them try and walk out thru these supposed free corridors- that is not the case.  My daughter’s friend’s house got bombed- they are ok but how many others are not and how many others do we not hear from ever again.”

GreeceHuman RightsHumanitarian AidRefugeesUncategorizedUNHCR

#SCMHelp4Syrians Greece Update

The refugees that had been stuck at border of Idomeni since early this spring have now been in the camps set up by the Greek government for just over 4 months. What you hear are stories of sadness and despair, families torn apart by border closures, depression, and more. The people all want to move on, they want to get their families back together again, and they desperately want out of the dreary, hard, noisy, buildings that have become their homes.

SCM is working in two camps at the moment: Karamanlis and Frakapor. While somewhat similar in size, they couldn’t be more different. They are about a five minute drive from each other, but Karamanlis is located in sort of an industrial park area with other buildings surrounding it, including a building being rented by another group that SCM has partnered with, called Swiss Cross. The warehouse serves as a storage place for all the donations that have come in for the camp, an office space for the two organizations, a community center, and has workshops for a tailor and a carpenter – both Syrians who are putting their skills to use to help their fellow refugees at the camp.

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The Karamanlis Boutique shop where the people can come and pick out the clothing items they need and like.

It also houses the “boutique” and the grocery store where the people can come and spend points they are assigned based on family size to get food, household supplies, clothing, etc. This way, they can pick out things they want and need, and supplies can be adjusted according to demand. There is a falafel stand and a coffee shop that do charge for their wares, mostly sold to the aid workers that are there.

Frakapor is located near what must be a sewage treatment plant in an old warehouse and the odor from the plant is quite noticeable when you first arrive. After a while, you get used to it, and I imagine that the people living there have gotten used to it, but it just adds to the depressing conditions of life in the camp. They don’t have a community center like at Karamanlis, and this is something that would have a positive impact on the people there.  They do have an area for the classes we are teaching and both the adults and children are very happy about the classes SCM is providing in English, German, math and Arabic grammar.

While walking through Frakapor with our team lead Jamal, we were stopped by a man who spoke to Jamal briefly, and with some emotion about something, then we parted ways and continued on our walk so I could see the scope of the camp.  A few minutes later, we ran into the same man again, and this time he invited us to have tea in his tent with this family.

The man, whom Jamal knows and SCM has been helping to get treatment for severe depression, was very hospitable, he had his children there – two boys and a teen aged daughter, but his wife is not with them. With Jamal translating and filling in the story, the man’s wife had left Syria on her own before he did and made it to Germany. The man and his children planned to follow her, but only made it to Greece. They are originally from a city in the north of Syria, and traveled through Turkey, a journey that took them 17 days, then crossed to Greece, and finally they ended up at the border with Macedonia where they were abruptly stopped by the border closure. It has been a year now since the children have seen their mother and the man his wife.

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They fled from northern Syria only to be stuck now in northern Greece, apart from their mother, who did make it to Germany right before the borders closed.

This broken family is just one of many such stories of how this crisis has torn families apart. They have been forced to flee their homes in Syria, in terror for their lives, and now they continue to suffer from separated family members, depression, lack of hope for the future.  And with nothing to do all day for most of the adults in the camp, despair runs rampant.

I met a woman in the camp who is also helping SCM as our teacher administrator for Frakapor. She was an administrator at home in Aleppo, Syria, and fled to be with her sister who is already in Sweden. Other members of her immediate family have also already made it to Europe and are settled in new communities. She is now with other members of her extended family – cousins and aunts. She was married, but her husband left her for another woman, and now she is on her own, and stuck in Frakapor. She is occupying her time, though, by helping SCM administer the education program at Frakapor.

Both of these people that I met at the camp had different stories, but they are both languishing in the camp, and I could see the hopelessness and sadness in their eyes. There are a lot of faces like that in the camp. I don’t want them to give up hope, but I can sort of understand that they don’t see how this is all going to end. Their chances of reuniting with family members already in Germany or Sweden or elsewhere seem to be out of reach, and no end is in sight for the conflict in Syria. They have lost everything, and many are thinking what else is there? The answer, in their minds, is another day in the concrete and steel box of the warehouse at Frakapor. And that’s it.

Please continue to help us help them. We want to continue to be able to supplement their food rations and get more educational materials for the classes. We also want to help support the craftspeople that are working in the camp to fix things, repair things, and more by getting them the supplies they need.

Thank you!

~Brenda