Rita has just returned from visiting the border of Greece and Macedonia where she was able to see first hand the situation of the refugees. As a result of her visit, SCM will be redirecting some of our efforts from coordinating medical missions to providing temporary housing for pregnant women and their new babies.
One thing many people find incredible about the refugee experience is how many women are making the journey while very pregnant. We have heard stories of the women arriving on Lesbos either about to give birth or they do give birth almost on arrival. Women walking for miles and miles while 8.5 months along. Women at the border camp giving birth in a small tent then having to wash the baby over a puddle outside with bottled (not warm!) water. So many women have risked EVERYTHING to find safety for themselves and their families and are giving birth in deplorable conditions.
To help alleviate this crisis, SCM has worked with local officials to find several condo units that we can rent for a nominal cost to house the women and their immediate family while they give birth and then give them some recuperation time before they have to leave. They will be visited by doctors and nurses on a regular basis.
Currently the rate we have been given is 300 Euro per month for each unit, and we may have access to 12 in total. We will also provide the funds for electricity and any medications the mothers will need. If you can help us provide a safe and clean place for women to give birth, please donate to our Greece Fund by clicking here or go to our Donation page and click the link there for our Greece Fund.
More information will be coming as we make progress on this program, with photos and stories about the women who have been moved into the housing. Check back for updates!