The crisis in Syria is arguably the most significant humanitarian crisis facing the world today. The Syrian War has already displaced over 12 million men, women and children — more than Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami combined.
These families have abandoned their belongings, communities and homes to traverse hundreds of miles afoot in desperate search for refuge and peace. In spite of the countless obstacles they face, from improper medical care to overcrowded boats to the impending freezing winter temperatures, thousands of refugees will endure treacherous sea crossings to reach Europe. More than 3,200 refugees have perished this year. The need for adequate food, warm clothes, shoes, blankets, heaters, and fuel is real. The mission of our Team is to fulfill this need .
The Team will leave for Lesvos (Lesbos), Greece on January 23rd and will facilitate in assisting NGOs delivering medical care, food, clothing and shelter to refugees for close to 4 weeks.
The Team will provide counseling and linguistic expertise along with a deep understanding of the plight of the refugee. We will implement a strategic and sustainable plan (details below) and will provide as much support as we can.
But we need your help.
The People Behind the Mission:
Latifa Yusufi Woodhouse was born in Afghanistan and came to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship. Latifa comes from a family of refugees fleeing political persecution during the 1979 Russian invasion in Afghanistan. Together with her husband, Colin Woodhouse, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan, they organized the humanitarian mission to Lesvos (Lesbos), Greece. Latifa is fluent in Farsi and Pashto and understands basic Arabic. Team members include their daughter, Alexandra Woodhouse, who graduated from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She currently works as a Team Fox officer within the grassroots community fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation and has worked with the United Nation’s International Labor Organization (ILO) in Cairo, Egypt in 2011 during the Arab Spring. Their team also includes Dr. Diane Lombardy, a pediatrician experienced in trauma care and is currently working as a pediatric emergency medicine doctor in Hempstead, New York and is affiliated with Nassau University Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and has been in practice for 33 years.
The Team is currently recruiting other medical professionals and Arabic speakers and hope to assemble a team of 5 to 7 people.
The Solution and Team:
The four-week mission is designed to pioneer and implement an organized, sustainable grassroots system to facilitate the transfer of refugees to sanctuary while minimizing any unnecessary hardship. Initial communication efforts with locals through expert translation, counseling and medical assistance will prove essential to this process.
Team members will cover ALL of their own personal and travel expenses. Your donations will be solely allocated to address the medical and humanitarian needs of refugees and on-site NGOs.
Your donations are needed for the following:
- Donations to rent transport vehicles to move supplies along the island (Initial estimates are $3,000 U.S. dollars with additional funds for fuel)
- Donations to cover shipping fees to transport donated medical supplies and high-quality winter clothing that will ensure that baggage deliveries are delivered straight to refugee camps for expeditious disbursement
- Donations for supplemental food, clothing and shelter for the refugees
We expect this mission to be the first of many. We will be evaluating the viability of developing a sustainable presence on Lesvos (Lesbos) in order to accommodate other teams from the United States.
Please help by making a donation the Team's efforts. We are privileged to act on your behalf as an expression of your humanity and your desire to ease the pain and suffering of these resilient people in need.