Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Banquet Fundraiser

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, TMO

The Southern California chapter of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) held its annual “Healing Hands” banquet/fundraiser this past weekend at the Hilton Anaheim in Anaheim, Ca. Internationally known and acclaimed Canadian-Palestinian attorney, Diana Buttu, was the keynote speaker.

During her address Ms Buttu exposed the fallacy of the so-called Peace Process. The 1993 Oslo Peace accords were a ploy by Israel which gave the Palestinians nothing and permitted Israel to triple its illegal settlements in the West Bank and in Arab East Jerusalem.

While the Palestinians suffer under the continued yoke of occupation, Israel, using the illusion of a peace process, has tricked 34 other nations into establishing diplomatic and economic relations leading to considerable economic benefit to Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), the successor to the pre-Oslo Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has become Israel’s surrogate, subcontracting for Israel in imposing the occupation and doing Israel’s all around dirty work. This has often been called “outsourcing the occupation.”

Ms Buttu said that there were advantages and disadvantages to submitting an application for statehood to the United Nations. For example, of course it would bring renewed attention on an international scale to the suffering of the Palestinian people. But she asked her audience to consider as a considerable disadvantage the wording of President Mahmoud Abbas’ application in which he used the tern “Jewish State”. Is this de facto recognition?

Ms Buttu suggested the following remedies: We need to demand better representation; we need to demand democratic representation so that our leaders are not tools of the occupation and represent the will of the people. Useless negotiations should be replaced with world wide boycott and divestment of Israel.

Ms Buttu is a Fellow at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government. She currently resides in Palestine and served as a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team. In 2004 she was part of a legal team that successfully challenged Israel’s Apartheid Wall before the International Court of Justice. She holds degrees from the University of Toronto, Queens University, Stanford University and Northwestern.

Ms Buttu has appeared on television news shows and is valued for her knowledge, experience and sense of fair play.

Nurse Asma Taha of Loma Linda University Hospital received the Huda Sosebee award for her humanitarian work. She has made numerous trips to the Middle East with the PCRF and has supported the PCRF in the United States.

Huda Sosebee, the late wife of PCRF CEO Steve Sosebee, was the lead social worker for the PCRF and one of its leading humanitarians during her all too brief life. She was known as the “heart” of the organization.

The Southern California chapter’s  leader, Lily Karam, spoke movingly of the children who have been helped and of the need to continue PCRF’s work.

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is an internationally known and acclaimed children’s charity, specializing in the Middle East. PCRF is perhaps best known for its medical missions which send teams of doctors and associated medical personnel to countries in the Middle East to treat needy children there. The teams also train Middle Eastern doctors on site.

If a child cannot be adequately treated in his or her home site, the child is transported, at no cost to the parents, to a country where optimum medical care is available.

PCRF announced at last year’s banquet that it would enter the field of pediatric oncology. Plans are progressing in that arena.

PCRF also runs summer camps; has a Woman’s Empowerment Project; has distributed eyeglasses and wheelchairs to children, and does emergency relief.

The accomplishments and projects of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, of which the foregoing is but a brief part, can be found at their web site: <www.pcrf.net.>  The web site also has provisions for making donations.

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Annual Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Gala

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, TMO

The Southern California chapter of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) will hold its annual banquet/fundraiser September 24 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel in Anaheim, Ca.

Titled” “Healing Hands”, the event will feature prominent Canadian-Palestinian attorney, Diane Buttu as the keynote speaker.

In addition to Ms Buttu, there will be a video presentation about the children of Palestine; an address by Dr. Alexander Zorous, Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Loma Linda University who has been on numerous PCRF missions, most recently this past July; the presentation of the Huda Sosebee Humanitarian award to Nurse Asma Taha, and Middle Eastern entertainment.

The PCRF was founded in 1991 by concerned humanitarians to meet the medical needs of children in Palestine. Eventually the purview of PCRF’s administration expanded. The organization sends medical teams to: perform surgeries, including plastic surgery; treat congenital ailments; treat heart ailments; provide dental care, eyeglasses, and custom build wheel chairs. The medical teams teach as well as treat, seeking to make the area self sufficient. There is a women’s empowerment project, summer camp facilities for disabled children, and emergency disaster relief. Last year at PCRF’s gala the organization announced the entry of PCRF into the field of pediatric oncology. This is only a partial list of the outstanding work of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

If the patient is deemed to need medical treatment that cannot be provided locally, he or she is transported free of charge by PCRF to a hospital in the West or the Middle East where appropriate care is available. This care, including follow up visits, is provided free of charge while the patient and perhaps an accompanying relative stay with a local host family.

The late Huda Sosebee, wife of Founder Steve Sosebee, was the heart of the PCRF. A dedicated social worker and advocate for the children of Palestine, Ms Sosebee worked tirelessly and dreamed in the last year of her life of extending the work of PCRF to include pediatric oncology. Last year the dream was realized and is now in its early stages at Hussein Hospital in Beit Jalla.

The keynote speaker, Diane Buttu, is an internationally known and respected attorney. She was a former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization and was cited for her work as a legal advisor and negotiator on peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. She has appeared on numerous occasions on TV news broadcasts.

The event will begin at 6:00pm. Tickets are $100 per person with table sponsorship available. It is suggested that tickets be purchased in advance of the event.

To reserve a ticket or to make a donation, please call: (562) 432-0005 or fax: (562) 684-0828.

To learn more about the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, please access their web site at: www.pcrf.net.

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Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Event

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, TMO

The humanitarian crisis in the Middle East is at the forefront of concerned humanitarians throughout the world.  While may organizations attempt to address at least some of these needs, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund works with the most helpless victims of the turmoil there – the children.

The Southern California chapter of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) will hold a dinner in Granada Hills, Ca on Sunday, May 15th at the St. Andrew and St. Charles Episcopal Church. The event will begin at 4:00pm.

There will be two featured speakers, Dr. Musa Nasir and Dr. Hugh Watts. Dr. Nasir is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the PCRF and was one of the founding members in 1991. Dr. Watts is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon affiliated with the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles. He has travelled frequently to Palestine to provide his medical expertise to patients and to medical personnel who are being trained there.

In addition, there will be videos of two children brought to Los Angeles for treatment by the chapter. The touching story of their journey from seriously impacted health to a normal life has brought past audiences to their feet and has further inspired the chapter members.

The attendees will enjoy Middle Eastern music and arts and crafts.

The event is distinct from the gala held in the Fall by the PCRF chapter. It is largely informational, an effort to reach people in the San Fernando Valley and parts of Ventura County. Of course, donations to this worthy cause will be welcomed.

Tickets are $25 if purchased prior to the event and $35 at the door. For further information, please contact Lulu Emery at  (714) 960-1215 or Lily Karam at (562) 432-0005.The PCRF is a 501 (c) (3) non profit and non political organization.

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund was formed in 1991 in response to the urgent medical needs of children in Palestine. Since its founding its scope has expanded to include the entire Middle East. Children are treated free of charge by medical teams sent to the Middle East if local treatment is an option. If not the children are transported at no charge to the United States or a small number of other nations where they can receive state of the art medical treatment. The medical teams that visit the Middle East also provide on site training to local doctors.

In recent months teams have included a pediatric urology team from the Bay area to Gaza; a Chilean surgery team to Nablus, and a pediatric surgery mission to Gaza and the West Bank.

During the October 2010 banquet/fundraiser the PCRF announced that it will now enter the field of pediatric oncology.

PCRF has received international acclaim from such famous figures as Bishop Desmond Tutu and former US President Jimmy Carter.

Other projects include a Women’s Empowerment Project, summer camps, wheelchair distribution and Emergency Relief.

The foregoing is but a small example of the work of PCRF. Readers should access its web site: www.pcrf.net for a complete story of its work.

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