Monday, July 19, 2004
Our expanded mission at Operation Give.
As I attempted to visualize the direction of Operation Give I was reminded of an experience I had while delivering toys to children in the oncology ward of a children’s hospital in downtown Baghdad. It was as if a light went on as the picture became clear, as I reflected on the details of that event. It came to me how the mission of Operation Give needed to evolve, enlarging our scope and broadening our reach. My desires were the same and hadn’t changed, just the method by which we could make things happen following the wise counsel of the old adage, “it is better to teach a man how to fish, then to give him a fish”.
While I was busily engaged in handing out toys to children in the hospital a man came running up to me, obviously upset about something. He was loudly yelling something at me in Arabic in a discernibly emotional tone, which caused me to stop what I was doing long enough to question my interpreter about his remarks.
He was claiming that they don’t need toys; toys aren’t the solution we should be bringing them he said. Toys aren’t going to do anything to heal, cure, or treat these children obviously suffering greatly from lack of medical assistance. He has a son dieing from leukemia in the hospital; desperately in need of treatment.
I felt his pain and agreed with his emotionally packed words; concurring with his demand for help. I went closer to him so that I might put a comforting arm around his shoulders, hoping to console him to some degree. I apologized for only bringing toys, but promised him that someone would be along to provide the necessary treatment in the near future.
As I reflected back on this incident it came to me what needed to happen. We need to offer long term solutions for happiness to the children of this nation. We also needed to offer solutions on a much larger scale involving more people to reach an ever increasing number of more children. The toys are great and will continue to serve a purpose, but the happiness experienced from them is fleeting, only momentary. I realized we needed to offer happiness with longevity, perhaps happiness for a life time.
Along with this realization came, the other day, a world renowned neurosurgeon volunteering to help fulfill this dream of mine. He is willing to travel to Baghdad to perform a number of surgeries on children in desperate need of assistance, putting himself in harms way to do so. Not only could he then help provide long-term aid for these children, but he could work with and train Iraqi surgeons to do the same after he has returned back home.
I then realized that it was possible to make this happen. We could, with our team of doctors in Iraq, and with a team of doctors from America put together a program of long term medical care and treatment for children in Iraq, which would include treatment, surgery, training, educating, and providing the necessary equipment for many patients and many doctors. We could arrange for American doctors to go back and forth and Iraqi doctors to travel back and forth as they learned the procedures and became proficient enough to then treat hundreds of children themselves. We could also facilitate the movement, where necessary, of children who could either be treated in Iraq when possible or in America if necessary.
This program would allow us to offer solutions with long term results; bringing happiness to a child or a generation of children for a life time. This is the mission of Operation Give, to give happiness and hope to a whole generation of children, in dire need of help.
Years of war have been terribly damaging to the children of Iraq and other war torn countries; with no shortage of children injured by the bullets, bombs, and explosions. With our team of people in Iraq, with our contacts in the military hospitals, and with numerous volunteers of doctors in the states, we can make this a reality. We can do it.
This is our vision and our direction.
Posted by Chief Wiggles at July 20, 2004 03:30 PM | TrackBack