NIC presents Offering Hope to Refugees

Presentation by Dr. Saren Azer

Dr. Saren Azer brings a wealth of knowledge on the Middle East to Stan Hagen Theatre on Monday.

North Island College’s Global Learning Initiative is hosting a presentation by Dr. Saren Azer, entitled Offering Hope to Refugees, on Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Stan Hagen Theatre at NIC’s Comox Valley campus.

Dr. Saren Azer, an internal medicine specialist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox, volunteered in October 2012 at Domiz Refugee Camp for Syrian refugees, located in northern Iraq.

Dr. Azer is also president of the International Society for Peace and Human Rights (ISPHR) and in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, he led a medical team that worked in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, providing medical clinics in villages and refugee camps.

The evening will feature experiences and shared stories from the Middle East. In Syria and Iraq the humanitarian crisis is ongoing and worsening. As violence escalated this summer, an already dire situation became worse and the number of those fleeing their homes rose dramatically. This very timely presentation will discuss the needs of the people existing in the refugee camps, some of the ways help is currently being offered, and simple ways that you may become involved.

Medical Hope for Syria, an ISPHR initiative, sends emergency medical supplies to refugee camps in the Middle East. ISPHR partners with a Canadian registered charity called Health Partners International, Canada. Their mandate is to receive donations from Canadian pharmaceutical companies, package them and provide them to Canadian physicians for use in the developing world. One Physician Travel Pack costs $575 and contains 600 doses of medicine. If these medicines were to be purchased at retail prices, the cost would be $6,000.

Student-driven project

The Global Learning Initiative is a student-driven project that creates partnerships with local communities and individuals to foster awareness of global issues.

Students and faculty have travelled to Uganda, Nepal, Mozambique, Rivers Inlet and Kingcome Inlet as part of NIC’s Global Learning Initiative.

The intent of the project is to facilitate a greater understanding of global health issues, by learning about social and health practices in local and foreign settings, and to provide students with opportunities to experience different contexts and cultures. Global Learning has partnered with such organizations as World Community, Africa Technical Service (ACTS) and A’eka-lixil to realize these goals.

Doors for Offering Hope to Refugees open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation getting underway at 7.  This event is open to the community and admission is by donation. All proceeds will be directed to the Medical Hope for Syria Campaign.

For further information, please contact Karen Silvester, faculty member with the BSN program, at 250-334-5000 ext. 4035 or visit www.nic.bc.ca.