October 2022 Newsletter

UOSSM USA Receives Federal Award!

We are excited to announce that UOSSM USA was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of State to support educational enrichment integrated with psychosocial support services (PSS) to refugee and underserved children in Jordan! Working in collaboration with Bareeq Education and Development in Amman, this after-school program will assist 400 children in becoming better prepared to assimilate into local school systems.

UOSSM USA President, Dr. Khaula Sawah expressed, “We are honored to build upon our partnership with the Bareeq Center through this opportunity to continue enriching the education of children in Amman and providing the psychosocial support they so desperately need. Many of these children are Syrian refugees who have witnessed unimaginable atrocities, the loss of loved ones, displacement, and other traumatic experiences. Through this collaboration, we hope to empower these children to overcome their trauma. With the support of the U.S. Department of State, these children will not only receive equal access to education but also receive the nurturance they need to improve their overall wellbeing and contribute positively to our global society. Children are our future – they are our hope for a better tomorrow. We are very pleased to be a part of this transformational journey which will help them heal as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.”

You can read the full press release here!

The Spread of Cholera Continues in Northwest Syria

Cholera continues to spread in northwest Syria. As of October 31, at least 36 people have died from cholera in northern Syria since early September. The outbreak may be tied to unclean water from the Euphrates River which is used for drinking and watering crops (resulting in food contamination), and improper sewage among displacement camps.

UOSSM is responding with preventative measures for mild to moderate cases in northwest Syria to include the provision of:

  1. Infection prevention and control (IPC) means to healthcare centers
  2. Cholera kits and activating oral rehydration points in each healthcare facility, to provide oral rehydration solution for patients to prevent dehydration, and to prevent escalation to severe illness.
  3. Community wide awareness campaigns created by the health cluster and disseminated by community health workers (CHWs) to include awareness messages about cholera and prevention methods.
  4. Community health worker (CHWs) training for the referral of suspected cases to healthcare centers in order to receive appropriate care in a timely manner.
  5. Capacity-building for Trainers of Trainers (ToT) for health care workers.

Promoting Dialogue on World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day (October 10), the UOSSM Psychiatric and Mental Illness Hospital in Sarmada organized an awareness-raising session on the importance of making mental health care accessible to everyone.

The various activities presented the severe effects of the conflict on the mental health of civilians. Through discussions, role-playing, and success stories, the life of someone with a mental illness was portrayed.

The event also included discussions and life experiences among the attendees and mental health workers, which deepened the importance of mental health and shed light on misconceptions about mental health and the importance of addressing the causes that lead to mental illness.

Vaccination Support in Northwest Syria
UOSSM is supporting 130 vaccine teams in northwest Syria. The project will expand the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign and support 130 vaccine teams working in fixed medical centers in Idlib and the Jabal Samaan areas in Aleppo. In coordination with the Syria Immunization Group (SIG), and Shafak Organization, this project is aimed at helping prevent death and illness from COVID-19.

Emergency Case Management Training
The Syrian Board of Medical Specialties (SBOMS) completed the Management of Emergency Cases of Internal Diseases training course. The training session, which lasted for three days in October, was attended by 20 resident doctors specializing in internal medicine and family medicine.

The training helps doctors handle and treat critical cases in hospitals, increasing the survival rate of patients with life-threatening diseases. Patients with life-threatening diseases often experience rapid deterioration of their health and unexpected side effects during treatment, which requires constant monitoring and immediate, and effective response by the medical staff.

This training is designed for internal medicine residents and family medicine residents who work in emergency and intensive care departments in hospitals that provide internal medicine services.

Ismael – A Tale of Discovery
Ismael’s mother was very overprotective of her child. She was so scared for him that she would not even let him play with kids his own age. This made Ismael feel extremely isolated and shy. Noticing his growing shyness, Ismael’s mother decided to seek help. She took Ismael to the Ahlan Sesame Center (Welcome Sesame) where he joined special sessions that helped raise his self-esteem and build his confidence by rewarding achievements and allowing him to try new things.

Even though parents are always fearful that something might happen to their child, it is important to allow them to experience things on their own. Being overly protective deprives a child of many opportunities to develop and grow. After completing the sessions, Ismael’s mother understood the importance of this and how to help him develop and grow in a positive way. She emphasized, “I gained so much knowledge from the program, I learned great ideas on creating fun activities and games with things we have around the house. I had no idea how effective these activities were for my child’s development!”

Thank you to our supporters who enable families like this to reach the programs they need, in such difficult circumstances, every single day.

Together, we continue to lives and build hope!

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How YOU can help!

If you have any questions, please contact us at: connect@uossm.us

  • Follow us and share and like our posts on social media! (Links located below)
  • Come volunteer with us!  This is a fantastic opportunity to give back and gain work experience in the humanitarian sector. If you would like to share your talent with us – virtually – for the benefit of those who are less fortunate, please contact us at connect@uossm.us.
  • Become an Ambassador!
    If you are ready to become an active member and help us spread the word about UOSSM USA, then this is for you!
  • Host a Fundraising Event to help support our work, helping those in need with humanitarian aid and medical services.
  • Pledge your Birthday on Facebook!
    Create a fundraiser for UOSSM USA through Facebook. Click here for instructions!
  • Amplify your Gift with AmazonSmile
    Simply shop at smile.amazon.com and select UOSSM USA to support!

If you have any questions, please contact us at: connect@uossm.us