By Susan Schwartz, TMO
The work of the Palestinian Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund (PCRF), the worldâ€™s largest childrenâ€™s charity working with children of the Middle East, is familiar to readers of The Muslim Observer. The PCRF has many missions, but perhaps the most noble one is the medical treatment of children who cannot receive optimum care in their native countries and are sent to key nations such as the United States.
The West Bank of Palestine has suffered under the Israeli boot, adequate medical care being a significant casualty. While there are many doctors there exquisitely trained, medical equipment and medicines are in short supply and so is the most basic need for proper hospital operation – electricity.
This month the PCRF has brought two young children from the West Bank for treatment in Shrinerâ€™s Hospital in Los Angeles. Inas Abu Juhasheh is 14 years old and has a congenital hip deformity. Her companion, Waleed Sudqi, is 17 years old and has a similar medical problem. Despite her ordeal, Inas is brave and incredibly sweet. She told the women visiting her in the hospital that while her mom was not with her now: â€œI have several momsâ€.
Inas has already had her surgery after an initial examination determined the optimum procedure. She endured it with the courage worthy of an adult, and she now has a cast from her rib cage to her left ankle. Having been discharged from the hospital, she is about to start physical therapy.
Waleed is scheduled for surgery within the next few days.
The PCRF is looking for Arabic speaking volunteers to visit the children (who will be staying at separate residences each with an Arabic speaking family) at the homes of their hosts and if possible drive them to medical appointments. The PCRF is also looking for Arabic speaking host families as both children will have to stay in the United States for six to eight weeks.
Volunteers should telephone Lulu Emery, the PCRF patient coordinator, at the following telephone number: 714-852-2822.
The Palestine Childrenâ€™s Relief Fund sends medical missions to Palestine to treat children locally and to also act as teaching guides to local medical personnel. The organization sponsors summer camps for disabled children; provides infant nutrition;supplies motorized wheel chairs that are specially fitted; has a Womenâ€™s Empowerment Project, and fits children with eyeglasses. These are but a few of the missions offered by the PCRF.
The PCRF has recently opened the first pediatric Oncology unit in Palestine, named for Huda El Masri, the late wife of the PCRF CEO, Steve Sosebee, and an active and dedicated social worker for the group.
Presently the PCRF has plans to open a Pediatric Cardiology Department in the European Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza, Palestine.
To learn more about the humanitarian work of the PCRF, please access their web site at: www.pcrf.net.