This project is a joint effort between Circle of Health International (COHI) and WATAN. COHI is a US-based non-profit organization that helps mamas and babies in some of the world's hardest places. We work with nurses, midwives, mamas themselves, locally based women's organizations, clinics, and hospitals to provide life-saving services in war and disaster settings, and within communities that have been displaced. We are midwives, doctors, nurses, trauma specialists, activists, public health professionals, and concerned members of humanity.
WATAN is a Syria-based organization with the mission to support Syrian society by providing services that promote its progress and development. WATAN is working to provide numerous types of aid for the people of Syria during this time of conflict, from building hospitals to employing refugee women to housing orphans.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are over four million people displaced in Syria, most of them women and kids. COHI and WATAN are in Syria to help feed and protect the mamas and babies in harm's way, and we are asking for your help.
COHI and WATAN want to raise funds to purchase local flour, oil, and milk for malnourished mamas, babies, and kids under six years of age affected by the conflict in Syria.
We aim to raise $50,000 by the middle of August to provide thousands of mamas, kids, and babies with flour, cooking oil, and supplemental milk products.
Flour prices have doubled since the conflict began, making this an item most families can no longer afford. Cooking oil, needed for parents to provide cooked meals for families, is mostly unavailable as well. Supplemental milk for babies and for older children is being requested by health professionals and mothers and hasn't been seen in markets for months.
COHI plans to promote breastfeeding through the provision of flour and oil, in an effort to enable the women to be healthy enough to produce milk without risk of malnutrition. When supplemental feeding is required, COHI and WATAN intend to provide the appropriate items for successful outcomes for moms and babies, as well.
COHI has served over three million women in similar settings, recently sent a life-saving Solar Suitcase to provide light to a clinic without power, and delivered 3000 diapers inside of Syria. WATAN is on the ground daily assessing and addressing the needs of the Syrian people.
Inadequate availability of main staples such as flour, oil and milk has been identified as one of the main causes of malnutrition in protracted refugee settings, in a recent analysis conducted by the UNHCR jointly with the World Food Program.
Infant feeding practices including: exclusive breastfeeding, the timely and appropriate introduction of complementary feeding to children around six months of age, and continued breastfeeding alongside other foods for children until two years of age and beyond are an essential part of infant and young child health. Sadly, most children inside of Syria are not receiving enough food, either through breastfeeding or due to the unavailability of supplemental milk. COHI aims to address this through the simple procurement of flour and oil for cooking and milk for moms, babies, and children to promote adequate caloric intake.
Wars have a devastating impact on children's lives. The impact on women can be tremendous mentally, as well as physically. Some women may become malnourished themselves. There may be even more demands on a mother's time to get food for her family, source shelter and deal with insecurity. Her family support may be disrupted. All of these factors may undermine adequate feeding practices for moms and kids. Without protection and nutritional support for the mother who addresses all of these issues herself, the babies and kids are less likely to survive.