UOSSM is a coalition of medical and humanitarian non-governmental organizations from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Turkey. The member organizations pool resources and coordinate joint projects to provide independent and impartial relief and medical care to victims of crises. Thereby, all member organizations work under a unified strategic framework together to increase the effectiveness of the humanitarian response in areas of crisis.
UOSSM was established in response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis in January 2012 in Paris by eight doctors of Syrian descent from different countries around the world. Today, the Union has become one of the largest providers of medical care and relief services in Syria and has expanded its work to several other countries affected by crises, including Yemen and Bangladesh for Rohingya medical relief. We are dedicated to providing humanitarian relief and medical care services to all victims of crises, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion and political affiliation. UOSSM-Canada is a federally registered charitable organization working to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to victims of war internationally regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation.
Vision: We believe in a world in which everyone has the right to life, health and well-being
Mission: To support the health and well-being of individuals and communities affected by crises regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation
- Primary Healthcare in Conflict-Affected and/or Developing Countries
- Mental health and Psycho-Social Support
- Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare
- Medical Training and Capacity Building
UOSSM-Canada carries out several programs and projects including:
Establishing Primary Healthcare Clinics
One of UOSSM’s major priorities since 2013 has been the establishment of Primary Health Care Centers (PHC’s) in conflict affected and/or developing countries. Today UOSSM International fully operates 13 mobile clinics and 14 primary healthcare centres in 8 different governorates throughout Syria. UOSSM’s healthcare centers have provided more than 1 million consultations to about 825,000 patients since 2015; a monthly average of 4000-5000 patients per center. Each PHC contains 4 basic specialties: family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, and pediatrics. In addition, each PHC has a laboratory and a pharmacy. Some of the PHCs have dental, dermatological, orthopedic, and/ or psychotherapy clinics.
Nutrition and Community Health
Nutrition and surveillance projects have been implemented to provide high-quality nutrition and community health services, using intervention techniques based on international guidelines from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. There were 420,351 beneficiaries in 2018.
Nutrition services target children (0-59 months), pregnant and lactating women, who are the most affected people in crisis situations, through well-trained nutritionists in mobile clinics, as well as fixed primary healthcare centers that screen clients for malnutrition and provide ready-to-eat food and nutritional supplements.
In alignment with the humanitarian response plan objective, this domain aims to save lives and alleviate suffering by building resiliency. This program provides protection services for all
vulnerable populations who are affected by conflict or crisis through specifically designed activities to prevent and respond to rights violations of all people in need. There were 113, 512 beneficiaries in 2018. The three priorities of this domain include:
- Community Child Protection: This includes awareness campaigns, parenting workshops and psychosocial support programs for children. The priority also encompasses case management of child protection concerns with a focus on separated and unaccompanied children, children working in hazardous work and children with special needs.
- Social Protection Services: This includes psycho-social support, community awareness, and skills improvements.
- Female Empowerment: Psycho-social support through women-friendly centers and outreach teams and awareness of gender-based violence and reproductive health.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services
UOSSM provides mental health services to all age groups, using a variety of intervention techniques based on scientific studies. 18,968 beneficiaries received services in Turkey and Syria throughout 2018. Activities in this program include:
- Psychiatric appointments including prescription of medicines.
- Psychotherapy, personal and group psychological counseling.
- Rehabilitation of children with special needs as in Autism, mental retardation, and speech and hearing loss.
- Community awareness campaigns in mental health diseases and the importance of psycho-social support for treatment.
Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare
UOSSM has supported 21 ambulances and four first aid points’ ambulatory system in Aleppo and Idlib with medicine and consumables, salaries, and operational costs. UOSSM’s ambulatory system enables injured victims in the targeted areas to reach emergency services in hospitals, in addition to to treating critical emergency cases of besieged areas. Within the domain of secondary and tertiary healthcare, UOSSM also supports physiotherapy centers in Idlib and Turkey, with medicine, consumables, salaries, and operational costs, to minimize the effects of war on chronic injuries patients and amputees.
- Attend conferences and professional development events with UOSSM Canada
- Symposium on Global Healthcare
- Trauma Response Workshop
- Sharing Untold Stores
- Some flexibility through remote work
- Workplace is accessible by bus and offers free parking for those driving
- Provides experience for individuals working in the field of medical care or the humanities with an interest in global health care and providing medical relief to areas of crisis.
- Diversity in hiring
Meet Some Team Members
Dr. Hussam Al Fakir, Board Member/Chairman
Dr. Al Fakir is a dentist and orthodontist who practices in Canada. Dr. Al Fakir completed his dental training at Dalhousie University, then went on to practice general dentistry in Edmonton. He went back to school to complete a clinical residency in Orthodontics and a masters degree in medical sciences. Dr. Al Fakir’s passion to help other people and make a positive difference in people’s lives motivated him to join medical relief organizations. He helped establish a dental clinic in Turkey to serve Syrian refugees and currently, he is proud to serve as the Chairman at UOSSM-Canada.
Dr. Anas Al-Kassem is a trauma and bariatric surgeon practising in Canada. Dr Al-Kassem received his MD in Damascus, Syria, completed his general surgery training at the University of Ottawa, and his clinical fellowship in trauma at Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary. He was offered the position of Trauma Team Leader at the Civic Hospital at the University of Ottawa as a result of his leadership skills in the field. Dr. Al-Kassem extended his surgery skills and expertise by earning an MIS/Bariatric Surgery fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Dr. Al Kassem has also been active in many humanitarian organizations. He initiated an electronic data registry system employed in trauma hospitals across Syria and continues to be involved in surgery missions to over 80 hospitals in the war-torn country. He is a co-founder of UOSSM and serves as the Vice-Chairman of UOSSM-Canada.
Nupur Agrawal – Fundraising Coordinator (Intern, Summer 2019)
Nupur Agrawal is the Fundraising Coordinator at UOSSM-Canada and is currently working as an intern for the summer of 2019. She creates and produces the financial, analytical, and statistical reports on development activities. She also creates social media posts, images, and stories to be published on the organization’s social media channels. Nupur is a second year student at Carleton University, pursuing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) in Design. She has previously worked as an intern at Zeidler Partnership Architects and is applying her graphic design knowledge towards helping a humanitarian cause. She has also volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations such as Seva Food Bank, Agarwals Based in Canada and Panorama India.
- Ambition: We are committed to provide the highest quality care to our beneficiaries, which is guided by our medical expertise, international humanitarian principles and standards.
- Trust: We respect all stakeholders. We appreciate the trustful relations that we have built with our beneficiaries and partners and strive to preserve and improve the same constantly.
- Neutrality: We are committed to the medical ethics of neutrality and impartiality. We assist everyone in need irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, or political affiliation.
- Integrity: We take good care of the resources we are entrusted with. We strive to embody the highest standards of personal honesty, ethical conduct, and fairness in everything we do. We lead by example and always act in the best interests of the communities we serve.
- Accountability: We believe in our ethical duties and commit to using resources efficiently to enhance our impact. We are transparent and accountable to our donors, partners, and, above all,our beneficiaries.
How to get involved with UOSSM-Canada
How often does UOSSM-Canada hire people?
Infrequently, one contract-based hire throughout the year and two paid interns during the summer. Current work/volunteer activities are of an administrative nature within Canada, with few opportunities being made available overseas due to safety/logistical reasons.
We bring on new volunteers in two rotations: during the fall (September) and spring (April).
UOSSM-Canada offers two internship opportunities every summer. A bachelor’s degree and specialization in a health/international development field is preferred. Possible positions may include: Programs Officer, Fundraising Coordinator, Grant Writer or Administrative Assistant. Interns are typically involved in managing the data entry and processing of all pledges, gifts, and contributions. The intern is also responsible for creating social media posts, images, and stories to be published on the organization’s social media channels. They create and run queries and produce financial, analytical, and statistical reports on development activities on a regular or as-needed basis. In addition, they prepare, key in, edit and proofread correspondence, invoices, presentations, brochures, publications, reports and related material under the supervision and mentorship of the nonprofit management. Experience in innovation, capacity-building and grant-writing are valuable assets to these roles.
Top Things UOSSM-Canada Looks For in Candidates
- Reliable and willing to put in the hours
- Driven to complete tasks efficiently and passionate about the cause
We can only hire Canadian candidates at UOSSM-Canada.
Advice for Candidates
Acquire experience in global health care and distinguish yourself through research and publications. People can get involved with our organization by attending our events, annual general meeting and our conferences.