Category Archives: Other Issues

Our Deepest Thanks to Colin Firth

At the Palmyra Relief Buffet Fundraiser on Sunday March 26, we were honoured to have one of our most dedicated patrons, actor Colin Firth, join us. Colin has been a committed Palmyra Relief supporter since its creation. We are deeply grateful for his continued support, and for joining us in our efforts to help the children.

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Meet Abdul Karim Sayyd

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Abdul Karim is 10 years old

Meet Abdul Karim Sayyd. Abdul is 10 years old, and he comes from Aleppo, Syria. Abdul is a refugee from the Syrian conflict, and he lives with his parents and three siblings in Istanbul, Turkey.

Palmyra Relief met Abdul Karim through our supporter, Shady Eed, who was reaching
out to the Syrian refugee community to help identify children we can help who have lost limbs as a result of the war in Syria.

Abdul Karim’s father used to run a womemapn’s handbag shop in Aleppo, but life became difficult as the conflict escalated. Abdul and his siblings stopped going to school.

While still in Aleppo, a rocket landed on the neighbour’s wall, bordering Abdul Karim’s house. Abdul Karim, his mother and siblings, all outdoor in the courtyard, were hit by shrapnel from the bomb. Abdul Karim had the most serious injury, and his right knee was shattered by shrapnel.

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The main hospital in Aleppo — Kindi Hospital –  has been totally destroyed. 

There are no good treatment facilities in Syrian war zones, and the only way to save Abdul Karim’s life was to amputate his leg.

Life in Istanbul

The family arrived in Istanbul at the end of October of 2015. Abdul Karim’s father and his oldest brother, age 12, work in a factory. The rest of the family is at home. Abdul Karim and his other two siblings can’t attend school.

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Life in Istanbul is difficult for Syrian refugees like Abdul, and most children are unable to attend school. Many children end up working alongside adults in factories for meager pay.

The family is hoping to emigrate to join family who live in Austria at some point in the future. That plan, however, is still in its early stages, and they face many obstacles. Right now, their greatest concern is getting treatment and support for Abdul Karim, as medical care in Turkey is private, and impossible for them to afford.

Abdul Karim’s Treatment

Adbul Karim’s initial treatment and prosthesis were handled by a Turkish charity that is no longer in a position to assist him and his family.

rehaIn November of 2015, Palmyra Relief trustees met with Abdul Karim and his family at our partner organization, Reha Healthcare, in Istanbul. Prosthetist Dr. Zeki Çulcu confirmed that the prosthetic leg Abdul Karim had been using was broken in numerous places, including the knee and ankle mechanisms. Dr Çulcu recommended at minimum that the prosthesis needed to be repaired, with a plan to exchange it for a new one in a couple of years as Abdul Karim grows.

Reha’s quote for repairs was €1,350 Euro – around $1,500 US, £1,040 UK. This included a 30-month guarantee, and free adjustments.

Palmyra Relief trustees also met with the Turkish office of Ottobock – a German-based prosthetic manufacturer — for a second opinion. The orthopedic expert from Ottobock felt that the broken prosthetic was unsafe, and recommended a new prosthetic leg for Abdul Karim. The preliminary estimate of cost for that new leg is €7,250 Euro – around $8,091 US, £5,579 UK. This would come with a two-year guarantee, and all necessary adjustments.

Helping Abdul Karim

Palmyra Relief also consulted with several other companies regarding repair of the prosthesis to get estimates – all of which exceeded Reha’s cost.

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IMG_4837 - CopyPalmyra Relief made the decision to have Abdul Karim’s prosthetic leg repaired by Reha, with a plan to purchase a new one in two years, as he gets to a point when children typically undergo a growth spurt.

Reha made the repairs to Abdul Karim’s prosthetic leg, and Abdul Karim is now back on his feet, walking well, and able to rely on his newly repaired prosthetic leg!

Please help us help children like Abdul Karim get the prosthetic arms and legs that help them get back to as normal, healthy, and happy a life as possible.

Support Palmyra Relief today.

 

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Education for Syrian Refugee Children

Currently, a number close to three million Syrian children are out of school and aren’t receiving any type of formal or informal education. Many children are part of families who have left Syria and gone to neighboring countries, making schooling even more difficult. Out of all international humanitarian aid, only a mere 2% is given to funding education. Pearson, a global education publisher, is spending around $1.5 million dollars to help solve Syria’s refugee education crisis. In addition, Pearson spent almost $800k on two education centers in Amman, Jordan, which are run by Save the Children. According to Amanda Gardiner, vice president of sustainability and social innovation at Pearson, the need for education “is enormous. Access to schooling is not the only issue – the quality of education has declined as a result of overcrowded classrooms, curriculum complexities, cultural barriers and other challenges. Absorbing the influx of refugees has been an immense struggle for Syria’s neighbors.” Finding enough teachers for the large amount of students proves just as challenging. Rob Williams, chief executive of War Child UK, says that “Children in Jordan’s Zaa’tari refugee camp have told us about classes with 120 students and one teacher. Some families might be motivated enough to find $1 to send their children to school if there was a private one” Children desperately need schooling, and the long-term impact of Syrian children never returning to school or receiving education has been estimated at 5.4% of Syria’s GDP, according to Save the Children.

Read the full article here.