This past February, I joined SAMS on a women’s health mission to Lebanon, targeting Syrian refugee women who have limited or no access to care. During my trip, I visited a number of informal settlements in the Beka’a Valley where SAMS has provided and continues to provide medical care, from primary health care care to psychosocial support services.
One of the informal settlements I visited was Al Omaria, the only camp specifically designated for widows and their children in the Beka’a Valley. There are 25 widows and their 60 children residing in this settlement. All the widows are registered with the UNHCR, and 80% receive a monthly stipend of $27 for living costs. What was heartwerentching for me to learn that once a widow’s son reaches the age of 13, the widow is given the choice to either force her son to leave the settlement on his own, or have the whole family depart from the settlement.
As a result of the trauma and loss experienced, these widows are in dire need of psychosocial support to help them cope with their emotional fatigue. SAMS also provides them with the necessary tools and skills in their new role as the head of the household, for which they previously were not prepared for. Their children also require psychosocial support services to instill healthy coping strategies for the trauma they have experienced throughout the displacement and back home, and provide guidance in maneuvering the path to a successful adulthood.
Therefore, I am partnering with SAMS on a new CrowdRise campaign to raise funds to support the women and their children living in Al Omaria settlement. Through your donations, we will launch a psychosocial support programs for women and children, increase access to education for the children, and provide vocational training programs for the women to learn tangible skills, such as sewing and computer skills. These programs will empower these women and girls to effectively participate and establish themselves economically and become independent.
Please join me today to empower and support these women and their children to have a better, brighter future. You support will make a world of difference in the lives of these women who have been through so much. Please contribute with whatever you can. Every dollar raised will go directly to benefit these women and their children.
With all my love,