“Together for Amuda” Gathering Continues Despite Fund Cuts
Since its foundation, the “Together for Amuda” gathering persists on providing its services to the people of the town of Amuda, al-Hasakah governorate, northeastern Syria, despite the decrease of the funding it is offered.
The Gathering’s focus is services and healthcare-related activities, as it pays some of the costs of the surgeries offered to the town’s poor, needy and displaced people, in addition to covering a part of the costs of major surgeries.
The Gathering was formed by a group of activists in 2013, funded by the “Syrian Regional program” (SRP), which provided the Gathering’s center with supplies. However, today, it lacks sustainable funding, except for a few projects that are presented to donor entities, according to what Sherin Qajo, a member of the Gathering’s management, has told Enab Baladi.
In 2014, the Gathering launched the Amuda Center for Youth Activities, providing events targeting young people, including poetry and literature workshops, seminars and recitations, in addition to a department for women, which discussed their affairs and causes. The Gathering has also created a children band, called “Children of Peace,” consisting of all social and ethnic classes in the area, Arabs, Kurds and Syriacs, which performed folkloric songs from each background, while wearing the traditional outfits of these ethnicities.
The major services which the Gathering today offers to the area’s people are healthcare-related, according to Qajo, who explained that the Gathering currently provides its services to children, from one day to 16 years old, due to the lack of funding, as it conducts the surgeries they need through specialized doctors and others who supervise their health status, in cooperation with the Amuda Hospital.
On its “Facebook” page, the Gathering posts details of the surgeries it conducts at the National Hospital every day, in addition to the names of the concerned surgeons.
Qaji said that all the medical cases are documented, including the names of the patients and those of the surgeons, in addition to the operation receipts, signed by the hospital’s administration, pointing out that the aid the Gathering provides does not cover financial support, chemo therapy or airfare, for some cases require travelling to Iraqi Kurdistan to receive treatment there.
The number of the patients who benefited from the Gathering’s services is 200 beneficiaries since 2013, and surgeries addressing congenital dislocation, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, appendiectomy and eye-related operations are conducted the most by the Gathering.
The Gathering, consisting of ten people, a number of whom left Syria, receive in kind donations from people in Europe, for an expatriate donated a collection of medicines for chronic conditions.
A group of Swedish doctors has also sent financial donations for the entertainment of children, which the Gathering invested in the children support and training them on playing the Buzuq, a musical instrument, for six months, according to Qajo, who stressed that the Gathering and its members are not affiliated with any political entity and have a license from the “Self-Management” and the area’s Organizations Affairs Office.