Food security is something that most of us bloggers and foodies don't often have to worry about. Tucked in our cozy kitchens, it's easy to forget that in other corners of the world people are literally starving to death. Sometimes this thought crops up, often as I catch myself saying something as ridiculous as "there's nothing to eat in this house." Yes, yes there is.
The most basic contents of my pantry could mean the difference between life and death to mothers and their children in Syria. Flour, oil, and milk, are staples that can keep these women and babies alive as they endure displacement, starvation, and loss. Take a moment to think about that the next time you make cookies.
Amidst all of the hardship for mothers in Syria, there are folks trying to help. Circle of Health International is a non-profit organization that is working to provide mothers and babies in Syria with these essential ingredients for survival. Their office is based right here in Austin, and Sera Bonds, the organization's Executive Director, has become one of my favorite blog buddies. You may remember her guest-posting here on Mary Makes Dinner back in March. You can follow COHI's blog here, to read about the amazing work they are doing to help women and children all over the world.
Can you tell us a little bit about the services that Circle of Health provides? What is the organization doing to help women and babies?
COHI provides health care to mamas and babies in some of the world's hardest places. We provide supplies specific to the needs of moms such as ultrasounds and iron testing kits, we provide volunteer clinicians and trainers to build the capacity of the providers serving moms, primarily midwives and nurses, and and we provide cash grants to our local partner organizations.
Where has COHI worked? Can you tell us about some of your past projects?
COHI has worked in Tibet, Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami, the West Bank, Israel, Tanzania, Haiti, Sudan, Oklahoma after the recent tornadoes, Louisiana after hurricanes Rita and Katrina, Afghanistan, and Syria.
What projects does COHI have going on now?
Currently COHI is working with a local Syrian organization to raise funds to purchase flour, cooking oil, and milk that will be distributed to mamas and kiddos under 6. Hunger is rampant, and mamas often sacrifice their own health for that of their kids. When there isn't enough food to go around, moms eat last. This can make breastfeeding impossible, and does little to ensure that pregnant moms have adequate caloric intake to sustain their pregnancies.
What can people do to help support COHI?
People can donate to the crowd funding campaign today, and tell their networks about it. We have less than a week to raise a whole lot of $ to feed moms and kids in Syria. A can of milk formula, for example, is $10, a bottle of cooking oil is about $15, and a bag of flour to make bread can range up to $20. Terrifying costs for families struggling to meet their basic needs.
If you'd like to make a donation to the Flour, Oil, Milk Campaign, visit COHI's crowd funding page. They have less than one week to reach their goal.