By Sarah Vanderburg Austria March 14, 2018 Topics: Featured Refugee Crisis Syrian Refugees March 15 marks seven years since war began in Syria. Half of the pre-war population has been forced from their homes. Families have lost livelihoods. Babies have lost parents. Children have lost dreams. Over the course of the war, we’ve met displaced Syrians along their journey to safety and healing. Going Where We’re Needed Most After fleeing horrendous violence, refugees struggle to survive without basic health care. With your help, we get life-saving medical care to hurting Syrians. We treat people trapped in Syria and those who have fled to neighboring countries. We go where we’re needed most to serve Syrian refugees. We responded when there was an influx of Syrian refugees to Greece. Now, we are focusing on providing health care to refugees settled in Turkey and Lebanon. Turkey hosts the most Syrian refugees of any country. Lebanon’s population has increased by 25% because of refugees. The health systems in both countries are strained. Your support ensures refugees continue to get the urgent care they need. A Syrian girl receives oxygen at a health clinic. Reaching Difficult Places Families stuck in Syria are in desperate need of help. Bombings and horrific acts of war make it difficult to find basic needs like food, water and medical care. As clinics are destroyed and health workers move out of the area, medical care becomes less available. Now, fewer than half of the medical facilities in Syria are functional. The remaining clinics are targets of bombings, putting countless more lives at risk. We’ve partnered with International Blue Crescent to get medical care to displaced Syrians. With help from supporters like you, we are shipping medicine and supplies to 20 clinics each month. We’re also keeping six health facilities open in northern Syria. The six clinics are operating in areas with increasing numbers of displaced people. More than 250,000 people have arrived in northern Idlib, an area we work, since January. In northern Syria, security and economic conditions drive health workers to leave. However, because of you, 50 health workers are receiving salaries so they can continue to provide care. Together, they see more than 700 patients every day. A refugee volunteer take the blood pressure of another refugee woman. Empowering Refugees to Care for Each Other Host countries, like Lebanon and Turkey, try to care for refugees, but their infrastructures can’t absorb such large numbers. In Lebanon, we are training refugee volunteers to teach their neighbors how to stay healthy. They check on people with chronic diseases. They also act as the “eyes and ear” of the community. When someone is sick, they call one of our refugee volunteers. The volunteers act as a bridge, connecting the sick person to the right medical provider. Trained refugees are vital to the health of their communities. Their training has a ripple effect that prevents suffering and saves lives. Treating an “Invisible Illness” Seven years of war affects not only physical health, but mental health as well. Many Syrian refugees have lost everything and experienced horrendous violence. Impacts on mental health, sometimes called an “invisible illness”, are painfully real. Stress-induced illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure can turn deadly if left untreated. Depression and anxiety greatly reduce quality of life. In Turkey, your support helps provide extra training to mental health staff. They provide loving care to traumatized Syrians. The mental health staff has about 600 consultations every month. Where We Go From Here The enormity of the Syrian war and the repercussions on the people of Syria can feel daunting. However, we are committed to continuing to care for people in crisis. Because every person matters. To God and to us. You can bring healing to Syrian refugees. Please donate.