Christine, Maru, and Karen are three of a group of seven dedicated San Diegans working to support a local Syrian refugee family. The group was originally inspired to get involved after the 2016 election.
“We decided to do what we think is right, opposing what [Trump] was saying he would do at that time. We got into contact with SCN to help and focus our energy on being productive and helping others,” said Maru.
When the group met Alla and Faisal’s* family, the first thing they noticed was a serious need for medical attention and follow-up.
Christine recalls: “We saw that the eldest child in the family had a crooked arm. He was very shy and always hiding it. As a team, we coordinated several surgeries, pre-operation visits, transportation, childcare, appointment scheduling, [and] physical therapy.”
“Now he doesn’t even remember that his arm was ever different. We are very happy about that,” said Maru.
The group has also supported the family of seven financially and emotionally—giving Alla* the opportunity to sell baklava to make an extra income, collecting donations for two cars and hiring a tutor for her eldest children that were struggling in school.
In addition to Karen, Maru, and Christine, four other dedicated volunteers—Gueni, Jaqueline, Gayle, and Connie—spent countless hours working to ease the family’s transition to life in the U.S. They describe their work with this family as incredibly rewarding.
“They call us all mom. I am mom Christine. I never had kids, but now I receive texts throughout the week that say “I love you, Mom.”
Our SCN mentors have made a lasting impact in the lives of many refugee families in San Diego. We are especially grateful to this team of seven for making sure refugee families are not just welcomed and received warmly, but also supported. From medical appointments, financial support to academic help, this group of SCN mentors has done that and so much more.
*Names changed for confidentiality purposes