17Aug2022

SCM Medical Missions

Contacts

3806 Whitman Ave N
Seattle WA 98103

info@scmmedicalmissions

+1 206-545-7307

Category: Lebanon

Humanitarian AidLebanon

We Stand With Lebanon

On August 4th, in the early evening in Beirut, a fire at the Port of Beirut set off an explosion that rocked the city to its foundations. In a flash, hundreds were killed, thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands displaced as the explosion shattered their homes and lives. SCM stands with the people of Beirut and Lebanon as they work to begin picking up the pieces of their broken lives.

Click on the image to read more about the explosion.

SCM’s response effort to the explosion in Beirut began within two days after the blast. We contacted our office in Jordan and talked to our regional manager, Basil Sawalha, to see what we could do right away to help Beirut. He called the Jordan Hashemite Charities (JHC) and told them that whatever we had in our warehouse in Madaba was available for them to take for Lebanon. We have been working with them for the last 9 years and we trust them and what they do. They took us up on the offer and the first items they took were 6 emergency medical tents that were donated to us from Direct Relief. The tents were taken into Beirut and set up immediately. The next JHC plane left Amman on Thursday, August 13, and was filled with generators, solar lanterns, walkers, blankets, hygiene kits, and medical supplies. These were all delivered to the Lebanese Red Cross at the airport for distribution.

Items in our warehouse in Madaba being loaded into the Jordan Hashemite Charities truck, bound for the airport and on to Beirut.

Everything that is going by JHC airlift into Lebanon is going directly to the Lebanese Red Cross for distribution. That way we know the items are being giving directly to the people and other small NGOs on the ground. This ensures that the donations are not skimmed or stolen and sold, a potential problem with anything given to the military or government agencies to distribute – very little would actually make it into the hands of those who need it. By us working with JHC and the LRC we can ensure that your donations will get to the people who need them.

We have set up a donation page for Lebanon and that money will be sent to Lebanon with Ghassan Mansour who is leaving on September 1st for two weeks. He will be helping to get items distributed and also work with a contractor who will be accompanying him to assess the damage to homes that just need windows replaced to be habitable again. Our plan is to be able to have the funds on hand to get this accomplished as quickly as possible.

We are also working with the Daher family who is raising money for the Lebanese Red Cross. Those funds will be wired directly to the LRC account in Beirut. You can find their fundraising page on our website and donate to either fund – both are tax deductible, and both go to help the people Lebanon.

And lastly, we have been collecting items here that will be going to Lebanon, hopefully in the first week of September. If we do not have a container load, we will delay until we can fill the 40-foot container, but we want to get it filled as soon as possible. All items in the container will be designated for Lebanon and will go to our warehouse to picked up by the Jordan Hashemite Charities to airlift into Beirut.

We have updated our Amazon wish list so please check that out. We also need school supplies which are probably cheaper to get on sale at stores like Staples or Fred Meyer. So please visit our Facebook page and our web site to see the items that we have listed. Items ordered on Amazon will come directly to us, or you can drop them off at our office in Seattle if you are local. Everything is needed and the people of Lebanon need your help.

We have not forgotten about the Syrian people and we are trying to help them also, but right now the priority is Lebanon, so we hope that you will be able to help us reach our goal of $100,000 within the next couple of weeks, and any amount helps.
~Rita

Humanitarian AidJordanLebanonRefugeesSyria

Brutal Winter for Refugees

Dear SCM Friends:

The usual cost of a 40 ft container to go from Seattle to Aqaba in Jordan is $2400 – this is a special price that we are getting as a nonprofit from our shipper. The cost is usually about $5,000.

The cost, once the container gets to Aqaba, for workers to unload it from the ship and have it checked by customs and then put onto the truck to take to Amman is $1645.

Once in Amman the container goes to the Jordan Hashemite Charities, our partner in Jordan, it is off-loaded and re checked for items that are either outdated or not allowed into the country and then we load the trucks and take the donations to the warehouse in Madaba. Volunteers offload, sort and get ready for distribution within the week. The cost of this stage is about $2400.

All of these costs are paid for by your generous donations.  So, to keep doing the work that we are doing we need you to keep helping us with these costs.  We also ask for monetary donations for specific emergencies. These funds are wired into Jordan, Syria or Lebanon for supplies that they need to purchase in country if they are not able to wait for us to send them in a container, or it is not cost effective for us to send them, such as firewood.

This winter has been very tragic. The weather conditions are so bad – first rain and floods in one week, destroying what little may refugee families had and forcing them to higher ground. Once they did that the snow started and they did not have the warmth to protect them, leaving many to freeze to death.

We need your help now to get warmth to the refugees affected by the winter weather. We will purchase firewood and other fuel for heating and blankets. Please, give now.

Please know that we only send out these announcements when there is a dire need for the funds. We are also asking for your help to spread the word to family and friends and associates of these needs.  We know that we seem to be always asking but it is for a real cause, not for an administrative need.

DONATE NOW

Thank you

Rita

GreeceHumanitarian AidJordanLebanonRefugeesSyria

End of the Year Message From SCM

11080607_809866319089173_4273504412661129460_oYour home country is all that you know — it’s where you were raised, where you’ve loved, and where you’ve lived all your years. So what happens when one day, without warning, or without cause, that sense of security is ripped from you? War, violence, persecution for who you are or what you believe; your home has become the crucible for your greatest fears, a place you no longer recognize. You’re afraid for your life, for your family — you don’t know where to go but you know you can’t stay. You and your family are forced to flee into an unknown future and the unknown peril it may hold.

You are a refugee.

This is the all-too-common experience of millions of innocent men, women, and children across the globe who have been driven from the place they once called home. And right now, the world is witnessing the human suffering of the thousands of families fleeing the conflict in Syria — their personal tragedies spotlighted on the front pages of newspapers around the world as they risk their lives to find safe haven.

What we at SCM have done to help

At the beginning of 2015 year we were coordinating medical/humanitarian missions every few months.  Our volunteer teams would be based in Amman helping the urban refugees and also the refugees that are in camps.  During this period we handed out over ½ million dollars’ worth medicines.  We shipped 5 containers to Jordan filled with clothes and medical supplies, teaching materials and games and stuffed animals that have been distributed.

IMG_1174We had food drives in Jan, April, July and Oct that fed up to 1000 people each. The food was distributed in packages containing food staples such as cooking oil, rice, beans, cheese, salt, tea, sugar, etc.  The cost of this package is $31 and could feed a family of four for one month. You can still donate to this program as we will continue it in 2016.

With our partner Direct Relief we were able to supply King Hussein Medical Hospital with a total of $250,000 worth of medicine to be used for the local communities.  This was shipped every three months to the hospital.

snow-lebanonDuring the winter months we worked with IHR in Lebanon and helped them purchase oil heaters and fuel and firewood to distribute to the refugees in the Arsal region. This is the very mountainous region near the border with Syria. We will do so again this year and into 2016.

In August as we heard about the situation in Greece getting worse, we sent an assessment team to the Greek island of Lesbos to check out the situation and see what we could do there.  The assessment team sent us their report and we decided that we needed to begin organizing missions right away. We began asking for mission volunteers and the first group went out in late September. Teams go every week and will do so through February 2016, at least. We are constantly reevaluating the situation there and determining our effectiveness there.

10422156_10102494704978039_5960911848601686534_nThe island of Lesbos is receiving about 3,000 refugees per day. At the beginning we were fighting with the local government, trying to make things easier for the people arriving, but it was hard work.  Basil Sawalha, SCM’s Regional Manager in Jordan, was brought in to set up the arrangements and make the needed contacts with the locals.  His son Jamal soon joined him and was in charge of logistics – transportation, getting the people off the boats and into clinics and to the camps, and whatever help was needed.  For the last two and a half months they have been there with our teams and have seen the tragedy unfold before their eyes, including the deaths of numerous refugees from capsizing boats, including children. They have also seen the smiles on the face of the refugees as they arrive and are welcomed by the volunteers. These missions have been very hard on everyone that is there, and they never return home the same.

Since 2011, almost 12 million people, equivalent to half of the Syrian population, have been displaced by the conflict, including 7.6 million displaced inside Syria. Their homes and schools have been bombed out of existence by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s merciless regime. Their lives have been imperiled by ISIL and terrorism. They are fleeing to neighboring countries, but they cannot work there and they are stuck in camps, simply existing. They make the journey to Europe in order to rebuild their lives, get their children back in school and work to support themselves. Many of the people seeking refuge are teachers, engineers, doctors, business people, business etc. There is nothing for them in the camps in the surrounding countries, so they make the decision to move on, make that dangerous sea crossing.

We thank you for all your support for 2015, but the tragedy is still ongoing and we still need you.  We have extended our missions in Greece until the end of February for now and will continually evaluate the situation and extend the missions as needed. We will be there with your help to help the people that need us the most.

What can you do to help

Get involved and help relief agencies, like SCM, help the refugees.  Please donate what you can at this time.  If your company does matching let us know as we are a 501c3 charitable organization.  If you have not yet decided who to give to before the end of the year please do so soon – time is running out and the cold weather is upon us both here and in Greece, Jordan and Lebanon.  Open up your hearts and give.

Click on the Donate link at the top of this page to contribute.

Thank you!

~Rita Zawaideh, President of SCM

LebanonRefugees

Donation to IHR for Medications

Recently we sent funds to IHR – International Humanitarian Relief, and organization working in Lebanon – to help them buy medications for Syrian refugees there. We received this message of thanks and wanted to share it with you, and thank everyone who has contributed and let you know the funds do go directly to helping those most in need.

Dear Rita and Samia,
Hope this email finds you well.
On behalf of International Humanitarian Relief (IHR), I would like to thank you for your medical donations to us. The medicines were donated to Gheras Al Khair dispensary. This dispensary provides medical support to Syrian refugees in Bekaa, Lebanon. Here is the link to the post on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ihrelief/posts/339515399570773
Also, please find attached a thank you letter from IHR to SCM.

Best Regards,
Haya Atassi
Outreach, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator
International Humanitarian Relief – Beirut
Website: www.ihrelief.org
Thank you - SCM
JordanLebanonRefugeesSyria

Extreme Winter Weather Hitting Refugees Hard

This is the second time this year that the Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon have been hit hard by the severe winter weather.  During the first two weeks of January 2015 extreme weather conditions for the region hit hard with high winds, and freezing cold in the evenings. Heavy snowfall has collapsed tents, forcing the refugees to find other shelter, which is hard to do.  After the snow started to melt there was flooding of the tents and the portable buildings that were put right on the ground.  The refugees lost a lot of what meager belongings they had that were ruined by the water, including mattresses, clothing, food, etc. Some of that was replaced from NGOs and volunteers, but certainly not all.

snow-lebanon

February came along and the cold weather returned again, with snow and ice and high wind conditions.  Tens of thousands of refugees are living in the camps and other in makeshift shelters across the region and they are not able to keep their families warm.  Some have kerosene heaters, but with the high winds and the snow collapsing the tents, it is very dangerous.  We have had numerous reports of children being burnt by kerosene heaters in the tents.

snow-lebanon2

We sent two containers from Seattle in late December, one of which arrived and was distributed; the other one has not arrived yet due to the delays caused by the labor dispute at the west coast ports. We have received word that the second container should be arriving by the 27th of February, but a third container we just recently filled has been sitting on the dock for the last two weeks due to the dispute.  I am not sure when the labor dispute will end and the container will be loaded on a ship and on its way to Jordan, but once it does it will take about a month to get to Jordan if there are no more delays.  Rita is leaving on March 13th for another medical mission and could really use your help with funding to buy the needed goods there for the families affected by the recent severe winter weather.

A lot of you have sent us donations of warm clothing, but they are stuck at the port and we need to get items to keep these families warm.  Fuel for heating will be purchased for the families to keep them warm in the evenings.  Solar powered lanterns have been ordered so the kids can read and do some studying at night instead of sitting in the dark (the sun goes down at 5:30pm). We also want to buy them some books and school supplies. All of these items are stuck in transit. We also want to buy them food at $31 for a month’s worth of food for a family of 5.

If everyone can just reach deep into their pockets again, you can help us help the refugees who are in dire need right now.  Rita will take the cash with her and purchase these items in Jordan and we will post pictures of what we have purchased and how we were able to distribute it.

Please go to our web site www.salaamculturalmuseum.org and click on the donate button now.

Thank you.

SCM Team

Humanitarian AidLebanonRefugeesSyria

Public Health Disaster in Syria

Syria facing ‘medical disaster’ as eradicated diseases return

Capture1-7-2015

PARIS // Syria is facing a “medical and humanitarian disaster” after nearly four years of war have gutted the country’s health care system, leading to a return of eradicated diseases, a group of Syrian doctors said in Paris on Monday.

A lack of doctors, supplies and drugs have plunged the country back into the medical dark ages, with polio and scabies back with a vengeance as many children are no longer vaccinated, while the majority of births take place at home.

“The situation is unbearable, catastrophic and many in Syria no longer have access to medical care,” said Oubaida Al Moufti, a French-Syrian doctor and member of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations (UOSSM).

He was speaking to journalists late on Monday at the foreign ministry in Paris which lends support to the organisation. (continued)

Continue to full article, click here.