Los Angeles, August 7th 2011. The prestigious Forbes magazine published a list of the world’s ten worst economies in which Armenia occupies the second place next to Madagascar. The Syunik region, in the South East of Armenia is a community of 8,000 where +90% of the population is under the poverty level. Real Medicine Foundation held a benefit fundraiser cocktail party last Sunday at Gallery 1927 at the Fine Arts Building in Downtown Los Angeles. Proceeds benefited Real Medicine Foundation’s efforts in Shinuhayr, Armenia and its surrounding seven villages dedicated to child-maternal health, childhood vaccinations, ambulance services, and assistance to aiding children facing severe health crisis. The event featured “A Journey to Armenia”, a photographic portrait of Armenia through the eyes of renowned Armenian photographers Sara Anjargolian and Vahe D’Ala, in addition to the silence auction of lithographs by such artist as Picasso, Dali, Miro, Matisse, Chagall and Renoir.
Mistress of Ceremonies correspondent for HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight” and founder of www.TheFabMom.com, Jill Simonian hosted the evening, which counted with singers Andy, Sattar, and Helen. Also to support the cause were TV personality Lesli Matta, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Cris Judd, Mark Geragos, Larry Carroll and Carmit Bachar (former Pussy Cat Doll).
Emmy winning, Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, known for her unique deep voice and movies like “The Lake House” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” told us she couldn’t miss it: “We have all reached to a point where we have realized how vital it is to have a true health care system and private individuals need to compensate for what the governments are not doing”. These days she is very short of time because, in addition to continuing her very successful acting career, she’s writing her memoirs, which are coming out next year. Shohreh has been writing for a couple of years now and she commented that it feels funny to write about one’s life. She writes in the kitchen while cooking, which is an inspiration and tool to remember anecdotes: “I am learning so much from putting the pieces of my life together; it gives you a different understanding, but yet I try not to shy away from the truth.” She, who has worked with so many big Hollywood names, definitely has many interesting stories to tell. Shohreh has just finished the movie “Life of Timothy Green” with Jennifer Gardner and will be seen in an episode of CIS in a couple of weeks. In addition she is also getting ready for theatrical return to London’s Alameda Theater performing Vernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca.
The evening counted with the musical performances of Helen and Sattar, who is considered one of top Persian singers. After the political upheavals in the late 70’s in Iran, Sattar took residence in the US and has since been constantly touring nationally and internationally at the demand of his over 100 million fans worldwide. He learned about Real Medicine Foundation through a friend and the photographs from Armenia reminded him of the images from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1995: “ I thought I have to help this people; they don’t have anything”. Sattar is very affected by the situation in his country, from pollution, to the growing number of homeless people. He mentioned a line on a movie he saw “religion is a poison”. He continued: “All the countries that have oil have very poor populations… Many people don‘t understand what happens in those places, they just live to be entertained by fictional TV.”
Founder and CEO of the Real Medicine Foundation, Dr. Martina C. Fuchs supported the relief efforts after the December 2004 Asian tsunami, seeing 80-90 patients a day in Sri Lanka and she started the organization with the help of friends. Their efforts target not only medical support but also emotional, economical, social and they stay for the longer term, until they are not needed anymore. They have taken projects in India, worked in hurricane Katrina, Pakistan’s earthquake, etc and now the foundation reaches 16 countries across 4 continents, helping a population of about 6 million people in areas of extreme poverty and also post disaster. “What we do at the beginning is to help with the immediate survival, which includes medical care, food and water ,and them we establish more permanent solutions like clinics and shelter. Our approach is holistic because it doesn’t make sense to just give out medicine to people who don’t have access to clean water or don‘t have enough to eat”. The Real Medicine Foundation partners with many local and international organizations around the world and also governments : ”the way to build sustainability and capacity is to involve the government, so that eventually the model you build can go back into their hands”.
The Real Medicine Foundation provides humanitarian support to people living in disaster and poverty stricken areas in 16 countries, including clinics in South Central Los Angeles, where the organization provides outreach and food programs as needed. The organization believes that real medicine is focused on the person as a whole by providing sustained medical/physical, emotional, social and economic support. In recognition of our organization’s Malnutrition Eradication Project in India, they have been nominated as a “Charity of the Year” for the CLASSY Awards, sponsored by StayClassy organization, which is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide. Dr. Martina C. Fuchs is the Founder and CEO of the Real Medicine Foundation. She is a physician, specialized in pediatrics, who has worked and trained at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, United States; Martina Fuchs has hosted the TV series Guardian Angels and MD on TLC.
For more information: http://www.realmedicinefoundation.org
Photo credits: Studio Alavian