MONTREAL–A WW2 veteran–once rewarded with many medals for bravery–should have countless stories for curious listeners. This is not the case for many veterans in Armenia who have taken on the status of refugee. What these people were once glorified for is now long forgotten. They are now refugees–who have lost homes–friends–family and much more. The worst part of it all is the sad reality that these refugees have lost hope–something even the Great War could not take away from them.
Empty rooms–lonely neglected people–often hungry–confused – this is what SAMA students witness during their trips to Armenia to help those who unfortunately are forgotten by many.
As members of the McGill University Student Association for Medical Aid (SAMA) in Montreal–Canada–these students will embark on their sixth mission to Armenia in the summer of 2001. Founded in 1995 by students–the goal of SAMA was to establish a student organization which would help promote humanitarian aid to these people. The heartbreaking conditions of refugees from Azerbaijan left a long lasting impression on the group and compelled them to organize humanitarian projects in Armenia. Each year the teams visit orphanages and refugee centers to volunteer and bring medical and educational aid.
Although a small group (4 – 8 people per year)–SAMA has managed to make each project a success. Over the years–the groups have brought medical aid–school supplies–educational materials–vitamins–clothes–toys and much more to Armenia.
SAMA is determined to ensure the continuation of its mission and to return to the people who await them each year. The group received a grant from the Quebec government this past year–which is annually awarded to university organizations that carry out humanitarian projects around the world.
The student organization invites interested parties to contact them for more information.
Student Association for Medical Aid
3644 Avenue du Musee–Apt. 82
Montreal–Quebec H3G 2C9