SRD Summer 2013 Newsletter

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To Syria, with Love S u m m e r

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 3 Ramadan 2013

5 Up Close: Sara’s Diary from Jordan

Intern Sara Jawhari is in Jordan capturing the stories of Syrians in need and the people who have been helped by Syria Relief and Development’s work

11 More than Two Years Later: The Crisis in Syria 13 Fundraising 101

How to get started raising money for a worthy cause

14 Latest News

501(c)(3) and more!

Dear Friends, I would like to wish you and your families a very blessed Ramadan. May this month bring you much peace and positive reflection. Muslims who observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan spend their days fasting and nights in prayer. It is a beautiful time to bring oneself closer to the plight of the poor. For those of you celebrating this month, I ask that you spend some time praying for the people of Syria—praying for their safety, praying that a peaceful solution eases their worries and praying that they are fed and taken care of during this blessed month and beyond. At Syria Relief and Development, we will be spending the month of Ramadan providing food and medical care to Syrians and Syrian refugees in need. We have been working hard this year, having already distributed more than $5 million in aid to Syrians in need. But we will increase our efforts during Ramadan to be sure that our often life-saving programs—from food and urgent medical care to medications and clothing—continue to provide for the countless Syrians who rely on this aid for sustenance. With your support, we hope to continue our tremendous work this Ramadan and for a long time to come. Please know that you are always in the prayers of the people whom you have helped. Sincerely,

Dr. Jihad Qaddour President, Syria Relief and Development


Dental Clinic $4,000

Akilah Hospital $635,103



Care Packages $1,813,950

Field Hospitals, Supplies and Medicine $2,660,228

Provided more than $5 million in aid to Syrians in need


Distributed more than $2.6 million of medical supplies and equipment to field hospitals throughout Syria


Mobile Medical Units $90,000

Total Distribution: $5,203,281

Provided nearly 15,000 Syrian refugees with more than $630,000 in free medical care, including more than 700 major surgeries, through our medical wing at Akilah Hospital in Amman, Jordan


Provided more than 9,000 injured Syrians with rapid first-aid care in cities throughout Syria through our medical points program

............................................. Distributed more than $1.8

Idleb $456,840

Aleppo $45,000

Hama $539,110

million in care package items to help more than 60,000 Syrians and Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Deir Alzor $66,900

Homs $715,000

Damascus $1,050,100 Daraa $1,686,228

Amman, Jordan $644,103

Total Distribution: $5,203,281 2

Ramadan 2013 To Syria, With Love


All over the world Muslims will be celebrating the month of Ramadan with fasting, prayer, devotion and reflection. It is a time when many enjoy solitude and seek to nurture their relationship with the Creator. But for many across the world, the struggle that is natural to fasting during Ramadan is accompanied by the struggles of displacement, inaccess to food, injury and poverty.

Ramadan is a time for care and compassion towards the suffering of those who may be less fortunate than us. It is a critical time to not only pray and reflect but to do what we can for those in need through our prayers, through our positive thoughts and through our charitable deeds.

About Us

With nearly 7 million Syrians in need, the fact remains that countless Syrians will go hungry this Ramadan. Basic necessities—food and medical care—are the most urgent needs of Syrians and Syrian refugees. At Syria Relief and Development, we’re working to address those needs this Ramadan and beyond by providing needy families with food baskets to help nourish them and free medical care to help ensure their injuries are treated. Food for Syrians this Ramadan During the month of Ramadan, SRD is delivering food baskets to families across Syria. This Ramadan, our food baskets will reach people living in:

Idleb Aleppo


Deir Alzor Homs



The food baskets contain essential food items to ensure families are covered during Ramadan. Each basket contains enough food to feed a family of five for one month and contains the following items:

Syria Relief and Development (SRD) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in November 2011 to provide humanitarian aid to Syrians and Syrian refugees affected by violence, hunger, poverty, injury and displacement. The volatile situation in Syria has created a dire need for food, shelter and medical supplies. SRD is working to address these needs through its established programs within Syria and in surrounding regions. SRD is based in the US with offices in Amman, Jordan. Financial Responsibility: SRD continually seeks to operate in the most financially responsible ways. The following diagram illustrates how donations are spent

How Donations Are Spent Rice, sugar, wheat, cooking oil, ghee, lentils, jam, tea, halawa, tomato paste, zatar, mortadella, vermicelli, pasta, dates, cheese, baby formula, milk and eggs

3% Other (fees,postage) 6% Fundraising 4% Administrative 87% Programs


Up Close:

Sara’s Diary from Jordan Sara Jawhari, a recent graduate of the University of Kansas and an avid visual storyteller is in Amman, Jordan this summer to document the stories of SRD’s beneficiaries.

My First Day at Akilah Hospital All of my senses were heightened as I made my way through a crowded waiting room and into a hallway that smelled of disinfectant and other fumes—that hospital smell that has always made me nauseous. It was my first visit to Akilah and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I would be spending the whole summer in Amman, Jordan as a multimedia intern for Syria Relief and 5

Development (SRD) and one of my jobs was to meet and interact with patients at SRD’s medical wing in Akilah Hospital almost daily. During my first day on the job, I met Dr. Seri Bakkar, head of SRD’s operations in Jordan. Dr. Seri sat with me for a few hours, giving me a rundown of the history of SRD’s medical wing inside Akilah Hospital—a women’s hospital in Amman. Through the support of generous donors and grantees, SRD is able to rent out two floors in the hospital and establish a facility that treats Syrian refugees free of charge.

Prior to arriving in Amman I read up on the hospital and the program but the magnitude of treatment opportunities provided didn’t occur to me until my first visit. I was honestly beyond impressed as Dr. Seri went through some background numbers and statistics with me. The medical wing is approaching its one-year anniversary, having first opened its doors to patients on July 1, 2012. In the first month alone, the staff was able to provide medical care to more than 500 patients and perform 56 surgeries. Now, monthly patients exceed 3,000, with more than 80 surgical operations. Thus far, the treatment center has served more than 25,000 patients and performed more than 1,500 successful surgeries. Beyond that, 97 Syrian children have been born in SRD’s medical wing, 54 being C-section births.

The most unique thing I felt about the program is that all staff members are Syrian refugees themselves. Many medical volunteers come through as often as they can, but the general staff consists of doctors (male and female), nurses, assistants and greeters, all of Syrian origin. My first visit to the hospital was a rather traumatic experience. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror the patients endured physically and mentally before they

Program Spotlight: Program Spotlight: Akilah Hospital

Akilah Hospital

arrived at the medical wing. I visited a woman in her late twenties, Alma, who was beaten so severely that she is now permanently paralyzed. She has spent months being treated at SRD’s medical wing and has severe bedsores as a result of her immobility. Later, I visited a room with four male patients recovering from various injuries. One of the men had both legs amputated the week before, while another man, his arm. The doctors also took me to meet a young man named Mahmoud, who had suffered constant torture by electrocution and had just come out of a skin graft surgery to close up a large gash on the side of his abdomen. We entered his room just as a nurse was checking on his wound and I was exposed to the graphic nature of his injuries. It was at that point that I had to excuse myself from the room.

To provide medical care for injured Syrian refugees, Syria Relief and Development established a medical wing inside Akilah Hospital in Amman, Jordan on July 1, 2012. Through the Syrian Refugee Health and Trauma Program, SRD provides essential medical treatments to injured Syrian refugees who are unable to obtain care within Syria or unable to afford treatment. The medical wing consists of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel with specialties including primary care, orthopedics, ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat), labor and delivery, pediatrics, urology and cardiology. The services patients receive include surgeries, lab testing, x-ray imaging and outpatient care. Since it first opened, the medical wing has treated more than 20,000 patients and conducted more than 1,700 major surgeries. general care, natural and caesarean births, urology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), orthopedic and gynecological. The medical wing continues to be a source of hope for refugees who are seeking quality care but cannot otherwise afford it.



I must admit I was quite ashamed at my reaction. As a woman who grew up in the West, I’ve always been proud of the fact that I voluntarily expose myself to the grim realities of people around the world to keep me grounded, humble and aware. But after my first visit, I questioned whether I’d be strong enough to spend two months following the difficult stories that awaited me within the walls of Akilah.

I took the next day off to process everything I had witnessed and try to refocus. After hours of deep contemplation and conversations with my family, everything seemed to come together: Everyone has a voice. Some have just been silenced. My belief is that it is our jobs to utilize our privilege and resources to amplify these silenced voices. And I can only hope and pray that the work I take part in inspires others to do the same in one way or another.

Meet Alma Alma is a 29 year-old Syrian nurse and mother to five children from Damascus, Syria. Alma was arrested and tortured in Syria and incurred several injuries including a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed in her lower body. Alma had to leave her children behind in Syria with family while she sought medical treatment in Jordan. Due to a lack of funds, Alma could not remain at the first hospital she arrived at. She soon came to SRD’s medical wing at Akilah Hospital where she has been receiving both medical and psychological care to ease her path to recovery—all free of charge.


A Day at Zaatari Refugee Camp The plight of refugees isn’t foreign to me. Many of my family members were displaced from their homes in Palestine and forced into refugee camps. Decades later, many still live in these camps—the tents they once lived in have turned into small concrete homes that barely house their ever-growing families. On the day we were traveling to Zaatari Refugee Camp, it wasn’t long before the industrial roads we were driving down that surrounded the city of Amman turned into a long stretch of dirt paths, eventually leading us to our destination. Zaatari Refugee Camp—currently one of the largest refugee camps in the world—can be seen from miles away. Endless columns and rows of densely packed tents stretch out across the horizon as far as the eye can see. I had seen photos of the camp and its conditions, particularly during the winter, and just how grim and hopeless the lives of occupants could get. I recounted these images as we drove past a number of security gates, mentally preparing myself for what we would witness.


Our friendly tour guide from United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) lead us through the food distribution that was taking place during our visit. Outside the distribution tents, large posters displayed a breakdown of the food and other contents of each care package and how much is provided to each recipient according to family size. We stood by and witnessed as, one by one, family representatives would go through the clearance process to receive care packages. I walked over to a few ladies who had been waiting in the hot distribution tent for some time. “I used to feed my family twice the amount that is in these boxes in one day,” stated one of the women. “Now this is all we have to consume in a week, if it even lasts that long.” Access to food, inside and outside of the camps, has been the biggest concern for the overwhelming majority of Syrians I’ve met since my arrival. Many of the Syrians living in camps like Zaatari receive care packages to get their families through a period of time. For Syrians living outside of the tents, many are unemployed and have no means of income, making it all the more difficult to meet their basic necessities. Delivering Care Packages to Refugees When a gracious donor reached out to sponsor a care package distribution for refugees living in Jordan, SRD was able to quickly put together almost 200 care packages to give to Syrian refugees in need. The aid recipients lived in buildings which at first glance seemed to be lavish when compared to the Zaatari Refugee Camp. The exterior gave away nothing about the poor living conditions that awaited us inside. After carrying the care packages up four flights of stairs we reached a floor that housed multiple families within two small one-room apartments that shared a bathroom and small kitchen. We were greeted by almost a dozen kids in the small hallway that separated the rooms and thoughts quickly swirled in my head about whether the contents of the packages in our hands would suffice. Surely not, but it was something. 9

Program Spotlight:

Care Packages

To address the emergency shortage of basic necessity items, Syria Relief and Development provides standard and winter care packages filled with essential items to help families in need. Standard care packages are distributed year-round and provide basic necessity items for adults, children and babies, such as food, medicine and clothing, among other basic necessities. Winter care packages are distributed prior to and during the winter season to help families survive the often-brutal cold by providing them with blankets, heaters, mattresses and other essential winter items. So far this year, SRD has distributed more than $1.8 million in care package items to Syrians in need and Syrian refugees in Amman, Jordan.

Hope for the Future

Since arriving in Jordan, I have been beyond proud to play a small role in an organization that is helping the lives of so many patients and families for the better. I remember sitting with a mother of four during our care package distribution. She had a beautiful newborn baby girl and I couldn’t help asking her what helps get her by every day. “This is temporary. I just need to keep reminding myself, and my children, that this is temporary. We will be home soon.” Hope is what is getting these Syrian families through this rough time. Hope, that one day, these temporary hardships will cease and they will return to Syria with the self-determination to rebuild their lives however they choose to. Hope that soon, they will be home. It is their hope that inspires me to continue this work. The mother continued, “They’ve taken away my home, my family, my life. But they will never take away my hope. That is something I will hold onto until God takes away my life.”


Current Situation According to the United Nations, more than 6.8 million Syrians are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Ongoing violence has continued to injure people yet one-third of all the hospitals inside Syria have either been destroyed or have shut down as people have fled to safety. The city of Al-Qusayr in Homs, Syria, has suffered large-scale destruction to health facilities, schools and housing. Only a few families have remained in the area with the majority fleeing to neighboring villages or cities. Al-Qusayr has no electricity or water supply and its sewage system has been damaged. And access to basic supplies is constrained as markets and shops remain closed. 11

More than 4.25 million people in Syria have been displaced from their homes and are living inside the country. More than 1.6 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries. And nearly half of the 6.8 million Syrians in need are children—more than 3 million children. Recently, the World Health Organization has reported that due to summer temperature increases, a lack of healthcare and overcrowding in common shelters, health outbreaks are inevitable among Syrian refugees.

Medical Care inside Syria Ongoing violence inside Syria has increased the need for urgent medical treatment. SRD has two programs that help


More than 6.8 million Syrmeet the needs of the injured inside Syria: Mobile Medical ians are in need of aid; Points and Medical Aid for Field Hospitals. nearly half of those in need are children. Mobile Medical Points equip ........................................................................................... medical personnel with Emergency Trauma Kits (ETKs) so they More than 1.6 million Syrmay provide rapid first-aid treatment and respond to front-line ians have fled into neighmedical emergencies. boring countries. Through our Medical Aid for Field ........................................................................................... Hospitals program we provide More than 4.25 million Syrians are internally displaced.

general surgery and orthopedic supplies to hospitals inside Syria allowing doctors to better treat patients that require advanced medical care.

........................................................................................... These programs provide treatments that often prove to be lifeAt least 93,000 Syrians have saving or help improve the quality of a patient’s life. been killed so far in the conOur newest program, Pediatric flict. Primary Healthcare Centers, will begin in the summer of 2013 and will provide children inside Syria with outpatient primary care services, medications, lab-testing and x-rays in addition to community education and training on child protection and welfare. 12

Fundraising 101 Are you interested in helping people in need by raising funds but aren’t sure just quite how to get started? SRD Logistics Coordinator Iesha Kincaid put together an exciting list of opportunities to help you reach out to your friends, family and network to get going! Have a garage sale. Summer is the perfect time of year to have a garage sale at your house and to get your family and friends involved in donating items to sell. The money you collect can be used to help people in need.

Rent-a-Worker. Allocate some time of the week that you can spend

doing odd jobs to raise money for your favorite cause. Odd jobs can include, but aren’t limited to: mowing lawns, babysitting, tutoring, household chores, car repairs, painting, pet sitting/walking, running errands, washing cars, etc.

Strike gold. Ask friends and family to donate gold they no longer want or use. Take the gold to a reputable place where you can trade it in for cash. Donate the cash to your favorite cause.

Fundraising Contest Between now and the end of Ramadan, SRD is hosting a Fundraising Contest to help raise money for Syrians in need while giving interested volunteers and fundraisers a chance to win any one of a number of prizes. Visit our website to learn more.

Cook-off. Host a cook-off and sell tickets for participating in the food tasting. Make and sell jewelry or other crafts. Do you have a talent for making jewelry? Do you knit, crochet, or sew interesting items? Consider making and selling your own crafts or craft patterns at local swap meets or online to raise money. Hold a bake sale in your local community. Who can resist homemade baked goodies and treats? Consider holding a bake sale to help raise money. Your patrons will enjoy the tasty treats and you’ll bring together the community and help those in need at the same time. Host a spa night. Find a few local vendors or friends interested in volunteering their facial, manicure, pedicure or other spa services for a worthy cause. Host the spa night in your home and ask attendees to make donations in lieu of paying for the services. What are you waiting for? Get started today. Contact us if you have an idea you’d like to share or if you’d like more tips. Happy fundraising! If you’re interested in helping SRD raise donations for Syrian families in need, visit to start your own fundraising campaign.


1st Prize: Samsung Galaxy Note 2nd Prize: Kindle with $20 Amazon gift card 3rd Prize: Gift basket and a $20 Starbucks gift card

Latest News SRD awarded 501(c)(3)! We’re pleased to announce that as of May 23, 2013, Syria Relief and Development (SRD) is officially classified as a 501(c)(3) organization, a designation given by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows donors to deduct qualifying charitable contributions from their taxes. Prior donations made may also qualify for tax deductions.To learn more, visit the IRS website at New Pediatric Healthcare Program This summer, SRD will be launching a new program inside Syria. As the newest component of SRD’s medical relief, two Pediatric Primary Healthcare Centers will be established in the Southern region of Syria during the summer of 2013. Given that the children of Syria are at the forefront of pain and suffering during the ongoing crisis, the establishment of facilities dedicated solely to address the needs of children has become absolutely necessary. The centers will provide children with outpatient primary care services, medications, lab-testing and x-rays. In addition, the centers will carry out a child protection program which will provide materials regarding child protection and well-being. This information will be made available on-site and distributed to surrounding communities in the form of leaflets, announcements at mosques and other areas of congregation and on a peer-to-peer basis. Donation Drive a Success The staff at SRD would like to thank the dedicated donors and volunteers who helped contribute to the Donation Drive for Syria. Because of all of your efforts, we were able to collect an overwhelming amount of in-kind donations that will help put smiles on the faces of Syrian families this Eid amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis.



to Help Syrians in Need 1. VOLUNTEER: Looking to help a cause you are passionate about all while gaining new skills? Visit our website to learn more about becoming a volunteer. 2. FUNDRAISE: Sponsor a local or online fundraising event or open an SRD chapter in your city. Visit our website to learn more about fundraising opportunities. 3. DONATE: SRD would not exist without the support of our kind donors. Please continue to donate generously.

Syria Relief and Development PO Box 25446 Overland Park, KS 66225 (913) 438-9990