SCM Medical Missions


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Category: Women & Children

Humanitarian AidJordanUNHCRWomen & Children

Update on Distributions

Last summer we put out a call for girls underwear for the children in Zaatari. The donations came in and we began sending suitcases full of the packages to Jordan. A total of 1663 pairs were donated, far exceeding our goal of 1000.

In September the UNHCR distributed them to the girls as follows:

(1) 984 pieces in Damascene Maysoon School:
* First grade: 175 *2=350 pieces
* Second grade: 192 *2=384 pieces
* Kindergartens: 125 *2 = 250 pieces

(2) 500 pieces in Hind Bint Amro School:
* First grade: 98 *2=196 Piece’s.
* Second grade: 152 *2= 304 Piece’s.

(3) 988 pieces in Joumana Bint Abi Taleb School:
* First grade: 154 *2= 308 pieces
* Second grade: 190 *2= 380 pieces
* Kindergartens: 150 *2 = 300

(4) 854 pieces in Hashemi School:
* First grade: 151 *2= 302 pieces
* Second grade: 142 *2= 284 pieces
* Kindergartens: 134*2 = 268

Thank you to everyone that donated! The campaign was a great success and the recipients are grateful.


Humanitarian AidJordanRefugeesUNHCRWomen & Children

SCM Donations to UNHCR – Zaatari


UNHCR truck loaded with supplies from our warehouse in Madaba

img_20160918_140921Over the last few years, our warehouse in Jordan has been sending items we have shipped from the US to Jordan to the UNHCR at Zaatari Refugee Camp. Attached here is the most recent report back from the UNHCR representative that shows the distribution from the September donation.

Thank you to everyone who has sent clothing, baby supplies for the baby boxes, blankets, donated cash, and helped load containers this year. Without you, we could not have done this. The need is still there, so please lets keep it going!


[pdf-embedder url=”http://www.scmmedicalmissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SCM-Donation-002.pdf”]


Humanitarian AidJordanRefugeesSyriaUNHCRWomen & Children

#BabyBoxes Delivered to #Zaatari Families


Zaatari Camp from Syria Tel – so named because it is the highest point in the camp and sometimes the people there can get Syria Tel cell phone service on their mobiles.

Today we went to Zaatari Refugee Camp to distribute some of the Baby Boxes to new mothers and also visit some of their other programs. It was a really good day, and we saw a lot of progress at Zaatari since my last visit in late 2014.

There are now about 79,000 people living there, and they are doing their best to get on with life. Schools are in session, shops have sprung up everywhere, and we even heard talk of traffic lights being set up somewhere in the near future! Zaatari is becoming more and more a city with all kinds of services available to the people who call it home.


Baby Boxes given out to new mothers at Zaatari

Our first stop was to show the staff who will be in charge of distributing the rest of the baby boxes how to assemble them, and the contents that go with them. Then there were 10 families with new born babies- anywhere from just a few days to a few weeks old. They were very appreciative of the boxes and happy to get the supplies and beds for their babies.

I had also brought with me information and a pattern on for washable reusable feminine hygiene pads, and explained them to the coordinator, who was very excited to get the information. She said they just started the process right now of trying to get their sewing groups to make these and developing a pattern that they can use. Talk about timing! I left a finished kit with them with all the instructions and the the pattern kit so they can see how they are made and the materials used. I hope it works out for them!


This is a handwoven rug, made with recycled fabric, and the pictures above it are women holding signs with empowering statements on them.

After this, we were given a tour of the camp and visited the women’s empowerment and training center. Here they are making handcrafts such as rugs and other woven items using recycled materials, jewelry, and mosaics. The center also works to educate and lift women and girls up and give them a sense of self reliance. They also work on training to inform men to treat women equally and with respect, and for women to demand equal treatment and respect. It was very moving to see all they are doing there.

20160919_092145The women are able to make money to help support their families. I purchased a few pairs of earrings that will be available for sale through the SCM store to support the women’s efforts. These particular pieces are made with date seeds and are very unique.

We also saw the sewing class, where they were working on patterns and how to make them. The sewing machines that were donated to SCM will go to these classes, but at the time we were there they were still in the UN warehouse where they will be given to the classes in a few days. They have been very busy lately so I am glad we got to distribute what we did! They are gearing up for the winterization of the camp and the people, so the warehouse is prioritizing that right now.

And lastly, thank you to our Regional Director Mr. Basel Sawalha, and Mr. Ala Almadani, Field Safety Advisor UNHCR Jordan, for arranging the distribution and visit for us!


L-R Brenda Pierce, Basel Sawalha, Ala Almadani, Viola Sawalha. Not pictured is SCM volunteer Manal Shawish who took the photo and accompanied us on the visit and helped with the distribution. 

EducationHumanitarian AidJordanUncategorizedWomen & Children

#SCM Jordan Update – Sept 17, 2016

I have had a chance to visit our Jordan operations the last few days and see how things are going here. I was able to help out in the warehouse and also with a distribution to a community center in the Kerak region. It was a center that helps women in poverty to give them training and skills to help lift them out of poverty. They also have a microfinance program to help women get started in a new venture to make money for their families. Thank you to Myssar Majali and Raouf Hjazeen for arranging this visit and distribution for SCM to The Ladies of Al Kasar Village and introducing us to your important work.

It was really interesting to learn about their organization and their programs, and good to be able to give the children in need there new backpacks for school. The backpacks were donated to SCM by Operation Refugee Child (www.operationrefugeechild.org). We also gave them knitted items and hygiene kits for the parents.

20160917_013203 20160917_014108



GreeceHumanitarian AidRefugeesWomen & Children

The Men of Karamanlis #SCMHelp4Syrians #Greece


On my last day in Greece, it was a day of celebration for the refugees. It was time to have a party for Eid al Adha, and our partner Swiss Cross had planned a party in what they affectionately call the Blue Elephant – the blue warehouse next door to the Karamanlis refugee camp. Music, sweets, watermelon, falafel, gifts for the children, and more were all getting under way by mid-afternoon.n SCM helped to purchase a few of the supplies for the party.

What was also getting under way was an art installation to bring attention to the men in the refugee camp. I spoke with the photographer, Gwen Versluis, who created the project, and she told me she was inspired to do something after having spent time volunteering on Lesbos to help the refugees there. She wanted to do more for them but she was not able to spend months and months in Greece so she began looking for another way to put what resources she had available to work to raise awareness. She noticed that the stories of the men were very underrepresented, that they tended to get a negative image in the media, and that everyone wants to help the women and children, but rarely the men. She hopes her project will change that.


The mother of this baby wanted his photo with his father in the background – he is the man with his arms crossed.

Versluis had heard of a project called Inside Out – The People’s Art Project, started by the artist JR, who had won a TED prize for his work. She decided to apply for a grant to bring her idea to fruition and was accepted. She spent time in Karamanlis Camp taking portraits and interviewing the men, and on September 14 she and some volunteers began putting the portraits on the outside wall of the Blue Elephant. She wanted the portraits to be displayed where the people could see them, and with the party that day, it brought plenty of attention to her project from the people in the camp and the volunteers. Only a third of the portraits had been posted, with about 40 more to come. I met one woman outside who pointed out her husband on the wall. She wanted a photo taken of her baby, with the pictures in the background, she seemed proud her husband is part of the project.

More will be available online about the project on the Inside Out page and on Facebook. I know some people will not agree with the project (met a volunteer or two who have already questioned the premise) but in one anecdote about underwear, I find that I have to agree with the artist. A young man came in to the shop to find some nicer clothes to wear for his wedding – yes weddings are still taking place – and he was able to find most of what he was hoping for except a clean undershirt and briefs. There are tons of women’s and children’s underwear, but there are no men’s underwear. SCM has been asked several times to send women’s and children’s underwear, but no one asks for anything for the men. Dignity is something that is hard to quantify, and we, as the people trying to help the refugees in the name of helping them preserve some sense of dignity, seem to overlook that men need help with that, too.



EducationGreeceHuman RightsHumanitarian AidRefugeesSyriaWomen & Children

It’s easy to feel deeply from 6,000 miles away

A post written by Rita a few days ago~

I was talking to my daughter this morning in the Carolinas as they were weathering tropical storm Hermine and as always we got onto the subject of Syria. We talked about the continued humanitarian aid that SCM is involved with in Greece and Jordan and she said, “As much as we take care of the fallout, the cause of the violence continues. It feels like a bottomless pit of suffering.”

It’s easy to feel deeply from 6,000 miles away. It’s harder to do something about it. Governments and people globally should beware: If we don’t do something to address the situation in Syria and save the children from their current fate, then we won’t just undermine the future of these children, but we’ll be hurting our own as well.

What’s to become of the Syrian children? The lucky ones will move to Europe or the United States, where they’ll eventually learn the local language and attend schools and universities. They’ll dream of returning home, as most refugees do, but in the interim, they will become an integral part of our societies, contributing to our economies and cultural diversity.

Unfortunately, this future is for the select few. The vast majority will remain displaced and will miss years of education — if they ever return to school. According to the United Nations, 4 million Syrian children are currently not in school. If we don’t address this harsh reality, these children could face one (or more) of three likely outcomes: they could become professional beggars; they could be abused and trafficked as child labor or sexual slaves; or they could be recruited by terrorist organizations.

Please support any NGOs and churches taking care of children and educating them while war ravages their lands. Meanwhile, we can get involved in the public discourse on refugees and argue for their fair treatment and human rights.

Laila, my daughter, talks about her friend still in Aleppo and how she is working to just barely support her entire extended family of 22 people; but how long can she do that? How long will her job there be viable in the midst of such an insane war? We talk about how to get her out, which might not even be possible at this point, but then if we could get her out, would she be able to get a job – could she get a job to support herself and to send money back to the family that is still there? How do the Syrians make these kind of decisions, how do they leave their families behind, knowing they might never see them again?

Where is there a light at the end of this tunnel? We need to do more. More work with our governments to stop this war and the fighting. We especially need to invest in creating opportunities for the children. We, the people of the world, need to open our eyes and not only when we see a picture of a little “Omran” that makes us cry. We need to continue to ask, ‘How can this keep happening?’ and not just go back to our lives after a week goes by, until the next picture gets noticed. We need to pressure our governments to do something to Stop This War. We need to give the Syrian people a light at the end of their tunnel, so they can see where they will be going and what they will be doing and that they will be able to go back to their homeland, not just interminably stay in flex, living in temporary camps in Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey.

Most importantly, international governments and the people who elect their governments need to understand that if we remain complacent, the effects of the conflict on Syrian children will haunt us for years to come.


Please consider donating to help SCM in our work in Greece and Jordan and our education programs to help keep the Syrian children from being left behind in this world. Education will help keep them safer from the dangers of terrorist group recruitment, allow them to go back to Syria someday when the war has ended and be a part of the rebuilding, and keep their futures full of possibilities and opportunities that would be lost if they are not able to continue with their education. Thank you for your continued support!