Austin non-profit helps Syrian doctors

Austin non-profit helps Syrian doctors

A chemical bombing in Syria left dozens dead, including children. The images are hard to look at. Western leaders are blaming Syria's own government, but this is far from the first conflict in Syria.

The country has been in a civil war since 2011.

Doctors there have needed help to keep up with the rise in violence.

Money from the World Health Organization that was supposed to help was re-allocated, making the mission of one local non-profit even more important.

Being a new parent is hard, now imagine doing it in Syria.

"You get to a facility that may or may not have power," Sera Bonds explained. "Probably doesn't have food, maybe has water, probably has a very small amount of medicine that they are going to give you very, very sparingly."

Bonds founded Circle of Health International in Austin 13 years ago.

The humanitarian organization provides access to quality maternal, newborn and reproductive healthcare in crisis settings in Haiti, Sierra Leone and a hospital in Syria.

"This has been the hardest thing we've had to raise money for. Donors will fund anything but this," Bonds added.

She says that's for two reasons. The first is that donors want to know exactly where their dollars are going, but that information just isn't available.

And second, "The world is scared of Syria and we're scared of Syrians."

While it seems like the recent American involvement would add insult to injury, Syrians that bonds have spoken with are saying something else.

"We've been waiting for the global community to show up, and you're finally doing what we've been needing you to do six years ago."

She hopes U.S. involvement will prompt conversation, education and donations, adding "That people open their wallets, open their homes, open their churches, open their hearts to conversation about this and take action in any way that it makes sense for them to do so."

Bonds hopes to continue raising $40,000 a month to fund the Syrian hospital.

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