March 8, 2022
On International Women’s Day, we’d like to join everyone in honoring and celebrating women around the world. We’ve been committed to empowering women, raising awareness, and combatting gender based violence (GBV) and discrimination in any form. Through our scholarship programs, partnerships with local and international universities, and awareness campaigns to help combat GBV and other forms of abuse, we’ve been tirelessly working to break down the barriers preventing access to education for women, ensure that women in the communities we serve have access to the dignified care they deserve.
Some of the core key gaps we’ve worked to fill is the lack of access to care in regards to women’s health. Over the years we’ve opened numerous clinics, worked with the communities we serve, and our many partners to provide access to life saving care for women in the communities we serve. Maryam, a 68 year old mother is one of those women. She arrived at our oncology center in Idlib after struggling to find affordable care to treat her breast cancer, and after working with doctors, nurses and staff, to set up a plan for her care, she got the treatment she needed free of charge.
“This center has given me the care and treatment I would have not been able to afford, and in doing so, saved my life. I’m thankful to them for the treatment, the improvement in my health, and being able to go home to my family.
Maryam is one of many people whose lives have been impacted by these missions, however these efforts aren’t enough and more needs to be done to ensure women worldwide have access to the opportunities, care and education, so they can live the lives they choose. This goal drives our efforts which have been focused on empowering women in the communities we serve through providing access to education, mental health support, and awareness campaigns to help combat GBV and educate communities about the important roles of women.
One of the programs that embodies this spirit is the SAMS scholarship program. It helped students like Ola, one of the first graduates of our scholarship program, overcome her unique struggles after displacement as a result of the deterioration of the conflict in Syria. After being accepted and graduating from the program, Ola is now on her way to becoming a doctor to achieve her goal of going back to Syria and helping her community.
“The situation we are facing at the moment is very challenging. People are in severe need of medical education and of well-trained medical professionals, especially those who are still in Syria. I want to become a compassionate physician capable of helping everyone who needs me.
Maryam and Ola both represent the positive impacts that missions such as these can have on the lives of the countless others who share similar stories. We have made progress in the past decade, but there is still so much more to be done to ensure women’s access to quality healthcare, their right to equal opportunities in education and training, and most of all build their trust in reliable support systems to help them live the lives they choose.