This is a post from our November mission that for some reason is showing as not posted, so here it is again, just in case.
Today we visited a new location in a village where refugees are living, and they have had no medical services until now. After our meeting this morning we set off in vans that were so full of people and supplies, they were all riding pretty low. After about an hour’s drive we arrived at the village and found the place where we were to set up. It was kind of a community center, with 3 storeys, meeting rooms, and rooms for parties or weddings. We unloaded the vans and set up the dental, pharmacy, and general doctors on one floor, and the OB-GYN, psych, and humanitarian teams on another. Only a few people were there when we first arrived, but it didn’t take long for the waiting area to fill up and the triage/intake tables were inundated with people needing medical attention. At the humanitarian section, it was the same. People who had nothing were desperate to get anything- hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries. The children were so eager to get even a small toy and some pencils. We had several older children who came up, and seemed to be trying to get additional items, but then we were able to get them to help us get a little order and help the smaller children in line. By the time we were done giving out all of the supplies we were being entertained by a few of the cheekier boys with their “moon walk” and funny photo faces.
The experience of today has just reinforced how much need there is and how much the Syrians are doing without. There are no more luxury items to be had, even face cream for women is something they were asking us about, and unfortunately we didn’t have any with us. It seems like such a small thing, but imagine having nothing and depending on others even for the most basic things. A small tube of face moisturizer takes on a whole new dimension in this context. It would be nice to be able to offer the women this small thing in light of how big a burden they now shoulder. Many are widows, raising their children on their own, trying to provide for them. The traditional family support system for the Syrians has been completely ripped apart, and having things like face cream and hand cream won’t solve their problems, but for just a few minutes, it can make them feel better and keep the world and it’s bitter realities at bay.