Gift of the Givers Prepares for Idlib Attack

The tension in Turkey both among Turks and Syrians is running high. I haven't experienced this much distress among the Syrian refugees in Istanbul who fear the worst for their families in Idlib. The Turks too, who have been very sympathetic and absorbed 3 million refugees just cannot deal with a new wave of displacement in a troubled economic climate given the current depreciation of the Lira, nor do they want to see a slaughter of women and children yet again.

Gift of the Givers teams have to deal with reality, if the attack comes we have to respond. The more prepared we are the more lives we can save. WE are Prepared. From a single small building that was a one floor hospital and 15 medical staff in 2013, Gift of the Givers currently has four buildings, the legendary Ar Rahma Hospital is now 3-storeys, with 5 ambulances and 270 staff. We have an outpatient primary care facility, a rehabilitation centre that provides physiotherapy, social and psychological support, as well as a second hospital, Al Hilal, 500m from the Turkish border inside Syria. We treat 14000 patients per month.The team members are psychologically prepared. This was very clear following my meeting with the team leaders in Gaziantep on 31 August and currently. This is nothing new for them as most of the medical staff are recruits from hospitals that were deliberately targeted and bombed in areas where civilians were the primary targets of the Assad regime to instill maximum fear in the population. Dr Sakher is a veteran from Eastern Ghouta, who headed the medical response there in three years of continuous bombardment and a crippling siege. He and some of his team members are recent recruits of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital, headed by Dr Ahmad Ghandour, who managed to escape Assad's State Security in Aleppo. His "crime", saving the lives of innocent civilians bombed by the regime. Dr Ghandour was a student of Dr Sakher.  The Gift of the Givers teams know NO fear having embraced and neutralised it.

The trip to Turkey included meeting our partners, arranging additional medical consumables, upgrading equipment and preparing for the delivery of standard supplies for displaced people. Whatever can be done to save lives and assist displaced people who continue their miserable journey of repeated displacement, must be done. Those wanting to assist can deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525. Ref: Idlib. Please send deposit slip to

06/02/2017 - Food Distribution in Kaifon Camp

200 beneficiaries received Rice, Sugar, Tea, Cooking Oil, Tomato sauce, Winter Clothes from the Gift of the Givers team at the Kaifon camp in Idlib, Syria. The camp is in the area where photojournalist Shiraaz Mahomed was abducted to before his drivers were set free.

Total Project Value: R68 317.56.


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Al Hilal Hospital - Backup Facility

Given the increasing patient load and the numerous attempts by the Assad Government to bomb the Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital it was decided to have a second hospital as a backup facility. The Turkish Red Crescent generously donated a 1 million USD Field Hospital to Gift of the Givers. This hospital is fully managed by the Ar Rahma Hospital team, is also inside Syria and about 8km away but

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Mobile Primary Health Care

Mobile Primary Health Care in various refugee camps and villages is another facet of our services inside Syria. During heavy bombing of civilian areas trauma medical teams are deployed from Ar Rahma Hospital to assist medical teams in the areas of bombing.


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Preparation and Delivery

Preparation and Distribution of Food Parcels all over Syria including Aleppo before the evacuation. Many families prefer cooking in their own camp/home/shack in privacy as that's the only dignity they currently have.

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Aid Distribution to 1st Refugees from Aleppo

This is our distribution to the first refugees arriving from Aleppo. 150 of them were put up in homes in Darkoush. The one's after that were taken to the camp we have set up at Hilal Hospital. Supplies include mattresses, blankets, food, diapers and baby milk powder.

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Gift of the Givers Steps Up Aid for Syrian Refugees

The tragedy in Eastern Aleppo has necessitated an increase in emergency humanitarian assistance for the expected outpouring of refugees from that totally devastated region.  The deliberate targeting of hospitals and civilians with a virtual total blockade on the delivery of food, medicines, water, baby food and medical equipment has added to an already catastrophic situation in the entire

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11/2016 - Winter Warmth Launched in Sermin Village

The Winter Warmth campaign was launched in Syria where tubular wood burning stoves and wood was distributed to 100 families in Sermin Village in Idlib. These families were forced to leave there homes in Dariyya and Damascus urban.

The added benefit of this type of stove is the emission of heat in the home long after the fire has gone out, and in a region where it sometimes snows and temperatures

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Gift of the Givers Al Hilal Hospital Attacked in Syria

For the first time since its inception in September 2015, Gift of the Givers Al Hilal Hospital came under attack one hour ago in Syria.  It was a drone attack that struck 100m away from the hospital.  Fortunately, there was no damage and no injuries.  Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital has been targeted many times since its opening in January 2013 with bombs falling behind, on the

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Syria and Yemen Relief

We are faced by massive challenges on two fronts affecting almost 40 million people collectively in Syria and Yemen.  The tragedy of refugees pouring into Europe is but a manifestation of a greater catastrophe within Syria.  Gift of the Givers is focusing its support INSIDE area by providing life saving medical care through two hospitals that we have established.  Food, clothing,

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Gift of the Givers Opens Second Hospital in Syria

The exodus of millions of Syrians seeking refugee status in Europe and elsewhere is indicative of a major catastrophe inside Syria.  Gift of the Givers medical teams have been a witness to the pain, suffering, extensive injuries and deaths of thousands inside Syria.  Our response was to set up an emergency hospital in Darkoush in January 2013 within 70 days.

The popularity of the hospital

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Gift of the Givers Hospital Inundated After Liberation of Idlib City

The expansion of the Gift of the Givers Ar Rahmah Hospital (Mercy) in Darkoush, North Syria, couldn't have come at a more opportune time in endeavouring to reduce suffering and save human life in war ravaged Syria.  The liberation of Idlib City from Assad's forces in the past five days is a case in point.  The Gift of the Givers Hospital has been inundated with casualties from Idlib

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Syria Report Back

Like the Darkoush Hospital Facebook page and remain up to date with current activities and daily operations at the hospital. WARNING! Page contains extremely sensitive images.
We have made a significant intervention in Darkoush, Idlib region, North Syria by establishing the South African Hospital, equipping it fully, supplying all the necessary medical sundries and expanding the team of local
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Massive Car Bomb Explodes; Gift of the Givers Hospital Inundated

News just in from Syria from our representatives state that a massive car bomb was detonated in Darkoush City around 9am today in the market place.  It was a busy time in the morning as family people were going about their daily activity in preparation for the Muslim festival of "Eid-ul Adha" tomorrow.  Apparently, one car exploded and ignited four cars nearby.   Initial reports

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Air Strike Hits Darkoush

We received the tragic news last night that the west region of Darkoush was hit by a rocket from a fighter jet in Syria.  It was a direct hit on a residential home killing a woman and child with six other casualties, one critical, all being treated at the Gift of the Givers Hospital in the city centre.

Assad's pattern of deliberately targeting civilian and non-military sites is a permanent

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An Update On Our Hospital in Darkoush

Below is the communication received from Dr Ahmad Ghandour, the professional selected by us to manage the Gift of the Givers Hospital in Syria. He is a cardiac surgeon but has to practice all fields of medicine given the shortage of personnel and the dire situation in Syria.

In recent days the bombing has been very intense in and around the region of the hospital with numerous casualties and at
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Syria Day - 26 April 2013

In Honour of those innocents who have been killed violently or otherwise, who have directly been targeted by snipers, who have suffered the effects of cluster bombs, chemical weapons, artillery and rockets aimed wholly at civilian populations; in honour of the maimed, imprisoned and tortured; in honour of the hungry, cold, displaced and homeless, and in honour of a nation which the world chose to
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SA Hospital Fully Functional Inside Syria

Friday - 15 March 2013

It's lunch time as we enter Darkoush City.  Today is the second anniversary of the Syrian uprising to date.  The mood is upbeat as is the beautiful spring weather; a huge contrast to the melancholia and  winter of discontent in December 2012, just three months ago.  The streets are a bee-hive of activity, more shops open, a greater sense of serenity and calmness, a greater  Read more  

Gift of the Givers Humanitarian Aid Enters INTO Syria

It has been an extremely difficult two months attempting to get life-saving aid INTO Syria to assist humans in unbelievable distress; mothers watch in anguish as their children collapse from weakness and hunger, from diarrhoea and from a range of medical ailments due to the destruction of medical facilities and the non-availability  of medical care.  The rapid drop in temperatures with the onset
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The Suffering Continues

It's a beautiful Saturday morning, 13 October 2012; we cross the river in a "drum" to get to Syria from Turkey.  Here there are no checkpoints, no passports.  It almost feels illegal.

Enthusiastic young men meet us as we pass unlimited hectres of beautiful pomegranate plantations all gone to waste; this is war, there is zero economy, the labour of ordinary farmers and their lives wasted.  We are
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07/02/2017 - Aleppo IDP's

45 families from Aleppo IDP'S in Syria received the ffg aid from Gift of the Givers:

  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Blankets
  • Mattresses and Pillows
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Tea
  • Cooking Oil
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Groats
  • Winter Clothing
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GOTG Cafeteria

This was established next to the Primary Health Care Facility, is self sustaining and is a place to "relax" and "unwind". The medical team are witnesses to trauma 24/7, seven days a week and need some form of "release". The patients and their families have lived through 6 years of war and are equally dependent on this facility which has a huge psychological and emotionally calming effect.


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Feeding Centre

Feeding is paramount in a war situation. A land was purchased and a Feeding Centre constructed. Meals are prepared daily for patients, their families, the medical teams, refugees and on occasions taken to orphanages and other facilities.


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Medical Campaign for Schools and Camps

Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush started a medical campaign for the camps and schools in the north of Syria. The medical manager, Dr Ahmad Ghandour, lead the team who visited 2 camps and a school. More than 800 tents and 1300 pupils were treated by the medical team.
The campaign will continue to cover all the camps and schools around Darkoush city.
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Eid Haircuts at Refugee Camps

Giving children a haircut in refugee camps supported by Gift of the Givers inside  Syria preparing grooming them for the Islamic festival of sacrifice (Eid ul Adha) on Monday, 12 September. On that day they will receive sweet packs and their families will receive food parcels.


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Gift of the Givers Syria Hospitals Receiving Patients - Aug 2016

The slaughter of innocent civilians by the Syrian regime and the Russians continues unabated in Aleppo...
The use of chemical weapons continue....
Gift of the Givers hospitals continue receiving patients from all over Syria. These three babies arrived from Aladiyat Hospital that was bombed in Idlib.


See what happened to this child...


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Rocket Strike in Darkoush

We received the tragic news a short while ago that the residential area of Darkoush was struck by two rockets from an aircraft.  Multiple homes were destroyed; 22 women and children died instantly, 50 casualties were taken to the Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital which is 300-400m in the same straight line as the destroyed homes. The hospital Casualty section is in chaos (see video). 

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Suffering in Syria Escalates

There is no safe place in Syria as village after village burns, civilians flee in their thousands, casualties multiply and the death toll increases exponentially.  Destroyed neighborhoods, charred bodies, decimated families, orphans and widows everywhere.  Tears have run dry, suffering knows no end; emotional, psychological and physical trauma having impacted on millions as an entire

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Syrian Refugees in Europe

The heartbreaking picture of the Syrian child on the beach has whipped up emotions worldwide.  Thank you to all for your compassionate response.  The reality is that this tragedy has been unfolding since March 2011 and ever increasing in intensity to the present.  The greatest tragedy however, is INSIDE Syria, not only because of the millions of internally displaced civilians but

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Syria War: Mother and Child Unite After Three Years

We feel very emotional and very blessed today.  At 5 am the atmosphere was charged with emotion, it was heart rendering and tear jerking when a 9 year old Syrian child stepped off a Turkish Airlines plane, entered Istanbul Airport and was embraced by her mother for the first time in three years.  The family endured three years of painful separation, the child sobbing all that time having

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Gift of the Givers Syria Hospital on iTV Today

It has been just under two years now that Gift of the Givers took a medical and media team to Syria to assist and witness the hardship of the civilians of that war ravaged country.  Dr Ahmad Ghandour, Gift of the Givers Syria Project Manager and Head of the Gift of the Givers Al Rahmah Hospital (Mercy to All) will feature on iTV, DSTV Channel 347, at 20h30 on Health Matters tonight, 3 March

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Baby Food Distribution

Between July and August 2014, Gift of the Givers distributed baby food to infants and toddlers. Each child received 4 boxes with a total of 24 000 boxes distributed within camps in the Idleb and Aleppo suburbs.
Total Project Value: R346 500.00
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Syria Humanitarian Relief

A special thanks to the initiators of the One-Man-One-Can campaign for Syria and to all those who have contributed in whatever way to make our overall Syrian humanitarian response such a massive success.

For the purposes of clarification we are assisting Syrians INSIDE Syria and Syrian refugees in Yemen.  Items collected through the One-Man-One-Can campaign are being sent to Syrian refugees

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Documentary on Syria

eNCA presents a documentary on Syria through a South African perspective. Yusuf Omar was one of 16 journalists and 52 medical volunteers who accompanied Gift of the Givers on a medical humanitarian mission to this war ravaged country. The documentary screens at 8.30pm tonight on eNCA, channel 403, and is repeated throughout the week. Please see details below.

Gift of the Givers is still actively
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Shrapnel Strikes Gift of the Givers Hospital

They've tried several times previously to bomb the building during the period of renovation and conversion into an emergency hospital which commenced in December 2012.  The "relative" safety of being located between two mountains and Almighty's Grace, ensured that the munitions always struck the mountain or fell to the left or to the right into the river.
Whilst our team was in Darkoush mortars
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Medical Mission in Syria

The mood of the medical team is upbeat, slowly having coming to terms with the continuous sound of shells and the staccato of gunfire around the city in these last few days.  This is Day three; the anticipation and the excitement to serve and save enhanced by the vehicle congestion in the streets and the throngs of people in the hospital foyer.  They came in their numbers from all over North
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Syria: Welcome to Hell

Darkoush, Idlib Region.

It's 8pm.  We inspect the building being refurbished into an emergency hospital.  Syrian teenagers can't wait for Dr Ahmed to arrive and brief us.  He is operating in a one-room facility closer to the ever changing frontline.  They give us a tour of the hospital excitedly, proudly shouting out all the medical names.  There is huge anticipation here, our intervention is the
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GOTG Meets with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

Gift of the Givers discusses the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at OR Tambo House at the Union Buildings, Friday, 26 October 2012. South African Government intervention is required diplomatically to request the Turkish Government to open its borders to allow the passage of humanitarian supplies including food, water, blankets, ambulances, medicines, medical
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Syria Humanitarian Crisis

They return the money you put in their hands, they kiss you, hug you and yet they've never met you, they offer you olives but have nothing to eat, they give you the widest smile, totally disarming, yet they face the greatest difficulty and intolerable hardship.  These are the CHILDREN of Azaz,"Free" Syria, victims of a brutal war that has left them hungry, thirsty, homeless, orphaned, diseased and
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