Flour, Oil, Milk: Feeding Campaign for Moms & Babies in Syria

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Today marks the launch of our new 30-day crowdfunding campaign, “Flour, Oil, Milk.” In collaboration with WATAN, our implementing partner in Syria, we aim to raise $50,000 to provide funding to purchase local flour, oil, and supplemental milk for malnourished moms and babies inside of Syria.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are over four million people displaced in Syria, most of them women and children. Flour prices have doubled since the conflict began, cooking oil is largely unavailable, and supplemental milk for babies hasn’t been seen in markets for months. COHI is in Syria to help feed and protect the mamas and babies in harm’s way, and we are asking for your help.

Please donate here and take the time to share the page with your network. These campaigns only work when we all make an effort. Your help is essential to getting the Syrian mamas and babies the nutrients they need.

Call for Applicants: Middle East Field Delegation

Hello COHI friends, supporters, and allies,

It is our pleasure to invite you to join our next field delegation. COHI has a long history of leading delegations of women’s health and public health professionals to visit COHI’s field sites and support our partner organizations, and we look forward to expanding this tradition to our current work in the Middle East. The 2013 delegation will travel to Turkey, Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel, with participants invited to join for the entire delegation, or in pieces, according to travel availability.

In Jordan, we will be working with the Syrian population. In the West Bank and Israel we will partner with midwives, and in Israel, we will also assist Eritrean and Sudanese refugees. We will help deliver babies, train midwives, and work with community health care workers.

Here is what we can tell you:

  • 21 days in duration, you can join for what your schedule allows
  • Turkey, Jordan, West Bank, and Israel site placements available
  • Opportunities to volunteer clinically, as well as to provide on-site training
  • Fundraising component required
  • Home-stays available
  • Language mastery encouraged, but not required
  • Supplies and equipment donations will be organized, along with distribution in country
  • Scenic and historic tours will be arranged in each location
  • All travel arrangements organized by COHI and local partners

Trip costs: $8,300 USD (includes airfare from North America to the region, room/board, and in-country travel)

Application requirements: Letter of interest detailing why you want to work with COHI and what experience you have in the region, your updated CV, and a list of three personal/professional references. Email them to: mjones [at] cohintl.org.

Meet John Peng, Columbia Sigma Phi Epsilon Philanthropy Chair

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Meet John Peng, who organized a COHI fundraiser in NYC this spring!

“Hi! I am the community service & philanthropy chair for Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Columbia University. My friend, Patricia Howard, a sister of Delta Gamma Sorority, had contacted me and simply asked if I might be interested in organizing an event in support of COHI’s Amplify Austin fundraising day. I looked over the website and felt COHI to be a great organization for us to expand our connection with. Usually, we have a national philanthropic organization (YouthAids) and we try to plan several of our bigger events in support of them. But, one of my goals as philanthropy chair is to expand my chapter’s reach and COHI represented the perfect opportunity to do that. So, since we were a bit short on time, we organized one of the simplest, yet successful events that we do as a chapter – a penny drive. We went around to dorms and asked Columbia students for any spare change or loose bills that they might have and would be willing to donate. We’ve done quite a few penny drives in the past and they always give a good turnout. After we collected all the coins, we made a trip up to CoinStar and the total amount raised came to $200! All in an afternoon’s work. I think we can do better next time and I look forward to working with COHI again.”

We are so excited to see young men working to help such an important cause. Thank you, Columbia Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter for your donation to COHI and we would love to continue working together in the future!

Now offering: Capacity-Building Trainings

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Today we launched a new page on our website dedicated to our extensive list of capacity-building trainings. Some of the services that COHI is proud to offer our partner organizations, our allies, and the communities where COHI serves, are capacity development training opportunities. Here are some of the workshops and trainings that COHI would love to bring to you and your community, please be in touch with us if you are interested in talking more specifically about bringing COHI in for a session with your organization or community!

  • Coping with exposure to vicarious and secondary trauma
  • PTSD in Childbirth for service/health care providers
  • Global Public Health for Nurses and Midwives
  • Community Organizing 101
  • Reproductive Justice 101
  • Fundraising 101
  • How to start a non-profit organization
  • Cultural Competency for Social and Healthcare workers
  • Human Traffickking 101
  • Mothering as political action
  • Women and leadership
  • Childbirth preparation (training the trainer options available)
  • Emergency Obstetric Care in Humanitarian Disasters
  • Gender-based violence training for men, social service workers, and health care providers

Relaxation Station Event in Moore, OK

ImageThe ‘Relaxation Station’ event is on June 24th from 12-5pm, at the Moore Public Library. Come relax with us!

We asked Oklahoma COHI Volunteer Jeremy Otis to describe his experience in the wake of the Moore tornado devastation:

“Volunteering with Circle of Health International has truly been such a gift. The man I am today is the direct result of a constant and consistent female influence. As a gay man, especially, I have relied almost exclusively on women for support. My personal ‘cheer section’, as it were, is not at all lacking in female participation. This is why I decided to help out at Circle of Health International. It is unfortunate, to say the least, that it took the devastation of a tornado to connect me with such an amazing group. 

There are so many stresses that come out of tragedy. Some of the most mentally debilitating and socially unrecognized issues that surface in the aftermath of destruction revolve primarily around women. Thankfully, I have come to find that strength and resilience are universally feminine characteristics. However, even the strongest of women are sure to reach their breaking point sooner or later. This is why the work of COHI and its volunteers is so very important. Sometimes all a strong woman really needs is some simple R & R. 

This is the philosophy behind our upcoming ‘Relaxation Station’ event. The women of Moore, and the rest of the Oklahoma City area, need to be pampered, need to feel special. Who deserves it more? Massages, manicures, acupuncture, etc. These are the services that we plan to offer on today, June 24th, for the best price in town…FREE! All these women have to do is show up, sit down, and smile… We’ll take care of the rest. 

The only thing we are worried about is successfully getting the word out. We want as many women as possible in the OKC area to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to relax. The greatest help to our efforts will be through word of mouth. If you want to help, just tell someone you love to head over to this important day of pampering. See you there!”