February 2016 Newsletter

Support Refugee Mental Health TODAY!

UOSSM USA is excited to announce the launch of a fundraising campaign to support UOSSM’s latest Mental Health-Psychosocial Support center in Gaziantep, Turkey.

With your help, we want to raise $5,000 for the center’s family support programs, which aim to heal the traumas caused by war.

To donate, please visit our LaunchGood page by clicking HERE. Your donation will not only help Syrian children smile again, but it will help heal families who have suffered immensely.

This center is instrumental in providing mental health and psychosocial support to the hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians who currently live in Southern Turkey. In addition to providing services at the center, the center has therapists and counselors who also travel to nearby towns in order to help those who are unable to make use of the services due to transportation difficulties.


In early February, Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA, represented UOSSM at the Supporting Syria & The Region conference in London. The main objective of which was to raise money to help those suffering within Syria. It is a great honor to have been invited to attend. For more information about the conference, please read our press release.

On February 6 – 9, Dr. Khaula Sawah also attended a Strategic Board Retreat for UOSSM International, in Gaziantep, Turkey. The Board met for 3 days in order to better plan and assess for the future of the organization’s international work. Dr. Sawah, who heads the QA division of UOSSM International in addition to her work as CEO of UOSSM USA said the meeting was highly successful.

The War on Syrian Healthcare Continues

February was a deadly month for healthcare in Syria, with many facilities targeted and forced to shut down.
On February 15, three hospitals were forced to shut down when hit by airstrikes, one of which was a Doctors Without Borders supported facility. The facilities that had to close down, the National Hospital of Maarat al Norman and the Maternity Children’s Hospital in Azaz, Aleppo, have been supported by UOSSM in the past whenever possible.
On February 18, two more hospitals were forced to shut down as well, one in Ayn al-Bayda and one in Eastern Ghouta Damascus.
Updates from the Ground

Despite the hardships, February 2016 was an extremely productive month for UOSSM International, with a number of new centers and training initiatives.

n collaboration with REO & International Humanitarian Relief, UOSSM’s Adan training center hosted a series of workshops focusing on improvisational psychological interventions to treat affected families in Tripoli, Lebanon. The course featured training involving improv theatre as a means of expression.

In Ma’arat al Norman, an UOSSM initiative aimed at supporting children’s mental health was established for children with special needs. This initiative took place at the UOSSM supported center in the area as well as various schools. The picture shows several of the children participating in a ballon feelings activity.

At the new MH-PSS center in Gaziantep, the staff underwent a training course about Gender Based Violence (GBV). This training course was presented by Turkish specialist, Merve Kan Lakmes. We thank Merve for her dedication to assisting Syrian refugees.

In collaboration with WHO, UOSSM has set up the Aleppo Emergency Response Project, which will act as a mobile clinic and service center for more than 25 villages in the Western and Southern Countryside of Aleppo.