Welcome to the blog for http://www.medifree.org/, an organization whose mission it is to secure medical supplies for small, on-the-ground providers of care.

Every human being, no matter who they are or where they live, has the right to sutures. And of course, we are using sutures to symbolize all the medical needs that human beings have.

Here are two doctors, whose words have inspired us to take up the challenge of 'doing more.' --

" 'More' is to feel responsible when our sisters in poor countries die because their human rights did not include sutures."
Dr. Tarek Maguid, Lilongwe, Malawi

"When we can discuss solemnly the 'right to sutures' even as we discuss gender inequality and torture, we will have succeeded in shifting the agenda in a way that makes sense to the world's poor and marginalized. This should be the goal of the health and human rights movement in the 21st century. "
Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners in Health

Please consider contributing to the organizations we assist, or directly to Medifree to help us give where we feel the need is greatest and the resources least available.

If you have no money to give: "Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are."
(Nkosi Johnson, 12 year old Zulu boy, who lived with AIDS).

You may contact us by commenting on a post or by sending us an email at sutures1@live.com. Our snail mail address is P.O. Box 51334, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49005 USA, and our telephone number is 269 384-5755. We look forward to hearing from you!

Let us "preach the truth as if we had a million voices, for it is silence that kills the world."
-- St. Catherine of Sienna

Sunday, August 9, 2009


These are the swollen hands of a refugee from Chin State, Burma. He supports his large family by working in a meatpacking plant, as do many other refugees here in Michigan. He must use a knife that is the wrong size for his grasp, through his eight-hour shift, sometimes 6 days a week, in extremely cold conditions. He doesn't want to complain, because he is scared to lose his job.

A young Karen refugee woman also works at this meat packing plant. Her job, again eight hours a day, six days a week, is to use her left arm to grab gobs of fat and throw them into an overhead bin. She can only use her left arm because her right arm is congenitally amputated a bit below the elbow.

Medifree has partnered with her church to obtain a prosthesis for her. She does have health coverage through the meatpacking plant, but her co-pay is a whopping 25%. We will be posting updates so you can share in her happiness as she finally gets her arm.

If you haven't heard about the Karen people, please check out http://www.khrg.org/ and http://www.freeburmarangers.org/. They are a minority people in Burma who are being systematically hunted down and killed by the Burmese army. It is an ongoing tragedy that for some reason rarely if ever makes it into the world's consciousness. Maybe because the Karen have no oil or other earthly riches.

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1 comment:

One Crowded House said...

such heartbreaking stories... I will say a pray for both of those people and their families tonight.

That is so great that you are helping... but more importantly... it is so awesome that you take the time to listen to the stories of these precious people. I think one of the best gifts that can be given to another human being is to sit long enough and listen to someone share their story. Everyone wants to feel heard.