Milk for Syria, A Mission of Hope

Last year, we first told you about Panama City Pediatrician, Dr. Yahia Rahim's mission to Syria. Now, he's back in the war zone and he needs your help.

Dr Rahim and several others in our local community are doing whatever they can to help the Syrian people especially the innocent children who are victims of war and Rahim say you can help too, by donating something every baby needs to survive.

Pediatrician Dr Yahia Rahim dedicates his life to helping babies right here in Panama City, and around the world in his homeland of Syria. He travels into the war-torn country helping the children who are living amidst bombs and gunfire.

"Very painful, very painful, I used to average every day two to three sniper victims on my way to the clinic, and more painful, I’ve seen many times at least five children less than seven years old brought dead," said Dr. Rahim.

Dr Rahim can't stop the bullets, but he is trying to stop something else, starvation. The babies of Syria are dying because of disease, and lack of food.

"When it comes to children they don't understand the meaning of war, and the need to be fed, and that makes it more of a tragedy"

It’s a tragedy Rahim sees first hand. So does Jana al-Nahaas, a college student who travels to the Syrian border, doing whatever she can to help the women and children in refugee camps.

“You have a mother having to carry, on top of everything exploding around her, she has to go to sleep knowing her child is still hungry. That is very difficult for them. Its adds a lot more trauma and stress to an already traumatic situation," said Jana,

But hopefully, the trauma stops here. Though community drives like this, Syrian Americans are calling on all Americans to help. They're using churches, schools, and doctors offices as donation sites for powdered milk and baby formula which will be taken directly to the starving children of Syria.

"When you give a monetary donation, you don't feel that big connection but when you pick up that can of formula or you pick up the baby milk, you develop this connection because you know the can you're holding in your hand now is eventually going to be in someone else's hands."

Through social media like facebook, the milk drive is spreading.

"When we saw this project on NewsChannel 7, we thought this would be a great opportunity for our students to learn to serve children in need in other nations," said Rising Leaders Academy Principal Suha Jaber.

Schools like Panama City's Rising Leaders Academy have made Milk for Syria their community project teaching children the importance of helping others.

"Why we are alive right now is because of care and they're not getting care so i think it's time we give back," said 2nd grader Ben Cherek.

For Dr Rahim, he dreams of a day when milk will no longer be a luxury for the children in his homeland but until then, he will keep helping, here at home, and abroad any way he can.

“We are human beings, come from the same father, Adam and Eve, regardless of different ideology. We have we share the same principles and same victims, it is a humanitarian crisis."

Right now Dr Rahim is back in Syria, at a time when tensions are heating up. He has already nearly lost his life as a building collapsed next to him, and shots ring out daily. He has lost many friends, including doctors in this mission b he says it is worth it, if it means saving the lives of innocent children.

If you want to donate powdered milk or baby formula, there are several drop off locations around town.

Here is list of locations:

8195 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Panama City Advanced School
3332 Token Rd
Panama City, FL 32405
(850) 784-2520

Dr. Yahia Abdul Rahim Pediatrics
200 W 19th St
Panama City, FL 32405

Rising Leaders Academy
1527 Lincoln Avenue
Panama City, FL 32405

Gulf Coast State College
Student Government Association Office (Student Union East)
5230 U.S. 98
Panama City, FL 32401

Arnold High School
550 Alf Coleman Rd
Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Tender Love and Care
1241 NE Ave
Panama City, FL 32401

Childcare Network #114
3905 W HWY390
Panama City, FL 32405

Lynn Haven Childcare
1849 Virginia Avenue
Lynn Haven FL 32444
(850) 265-6221