Written by: McKenzie Thompson – Saving Moses Communications & Logistics Coordinator
At Saving Moses, we have recently launched our end of year campaign, Born in Refuge, which focuses on our BirthAid program. We are helping pregnant women and babies in Iraq and Syria by providing midwives, obstetricians and pediatricians during one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. It’s not uncommon news that Syrians are fleeing their war-torn country for the past several years since civil war began in 2011. The humanitarian crisis has been going on for 8 years now, and it’s not over yet.
After the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria’s northern border in October this year, Turkey’s military invaded the area days later, causing hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee their country or die trying. We aren’t here to choose sides on the political and militant decisions made regarding this issue, but instead, we are here to help those who are most vulnerable – babies and toddlers. According to the UN, only a couple of weeks after the invasion, nearly 180,000 people fled south from the border area between Turkey and Syria, while 10,000 fled to Iraq. 80,000 of those being children. That number has risen exponentially from this recent conflict alone. It isn’t counting the past 8 years that Syrians have been at war, fleeing their homes in search of safety, and hundreds of thousands of them innocently dying. Before this most recent conflict, there were already millions of Syrians in need.
As of December 1, 2019, the total number of registered Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries is 5,664,202, according to Operation Portal – Refugee Situations. This number doesn’t include all the people displaced and still seeking refuge. That is over 5-million men and women forced to make the hardest decisions for their families and children of all ages forced to grow up way too soon. They are forced to leave their lives behind and seek refuge in unfamiliar places. Overall, more than 11 million Syrians are displaced, according to research by Mercy Corps.
My heart breaks when I think about the families who are just doing their best to survive. But when I think about the babies amid all this chaos, it just angers me. UNICEF reports that 2018 was the single deadliest year for children in Syria since the start of the war. That statistic rocks me to my core.
Babies are at the mercy of their environment. Women are giving birth to babies in the center of war zones. Babies are being born without any access to health care. Women are forced to travel several miles by foot just to get help with their pregnancy or sick babies.
By launching our end of year campaign: Born in Refuge, we will be funding midwives, obstetricians, and pediatricians for babies and pregnant mothers in Syria and Iraq. While millions of Syrians are fleeing their homes and traveling to neighboring countries like Iraq, it can be difficult to find medical help, especially in the middle of a war zone, where help is most needed. By providing these services, we are hoping to continue saving babies and providing the care needed to protect the world’s most vulnerable.
Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is quickly approaching. This is a season of giving and love is the greatest gift you can give to someone. It’s a time to be a part of something bigger than yourself! This time of year tends to get busy as we are planning holiday dinners, trying to buy the best gifts, flying/driving hundreds of miles to spend this holiday with friends and family, but I urge you to slow down for a second and think about those who don’t have these same opportunities. We are the help these babies need and deserve, and you can be the love these little ones experience this giving season. Join Saving Moses through Born in Refuge, donate today, and bring joy to the lives of thousands of babies in need who are growing up in a war zone.
*Saving Moses no longer provides services in Syria as of 2021