Dr. Sofia, a Pakistani born and raised Physician, burns the midnight oil to help Syrian refugees in Kansas City. The humanitarian fire kindled in her when she was a second-year medical student in Karachi and noticed poor, un-sheltered people waiting in line outside hospitals. Since then she aspires to provide medical services and facilities to the poor.
She promised herself to become a “backpacking physician” traveling from one town to another, spreading smiles across the distressed faces. Shortly, after she moved to the United States with her family. She got married, became a family physician and had five beautiful daughters but the new environment did not kill her ambition.
Dr. Sofia would occasionally volunteer but she realized that random efforts are not enough.
I came home and decided that, whatever I want to do, I have to do today – not even tomorrow. You can’t wait until retirement because maybe you won’t see retirement.
She started volunteering at The Medina Clinic in Grandview and Mercy Health Free Clinic in Kansas City. The owner of Mercy Health Free Clinic also operated a Syrian relief agency. Working with the clinic, Dr. Sophia realized the needs of incoming Syrian refugees.
She began working for the refugee community by opening a non-profit Peace Clinic inside Masjid Al-Huda. Not only medical care, but she and her team also provided important needs like clothing and food. She also collected donations and every time a new refugee family comes to Kansas City, she and her friends drove up to new comers’ house and provided them with all the basics of a family.
In her opinion,
No one goes poor helping a refugee. Most of the stuff we give was just sitting around our house, and for a person who has nothing, even starter stuff is really helpful.
In 2008, after a drought in Somalia, Dr. Sofia raised more than $7,000 in two days. She bought rice from local restaurant suppliers and warehouses and filled a 40-foot container at Della Lamb for people to feed from. The director of refugee resettlement program at Della Lamb, Abdul Bakar, saluted the philanthropic doctor in these words
Twenty-four/seven, no matter how hard you try to slow her down, she won’t, when there are people experiencing hardships.
Recently, in April, Dr. Sofia founded an organization called ‘KC for Refugees’ and gathered a team of enthusiastic, altruistic leaders and members from around Kansas City. Those volunteers also helped her set up a website and a Facebook page.
Volunteers at KC for Refugees welcome refugees at the airport and guide them to set up their new home. They also provide medical care and assistance to the sick or injured refugees too. In word of Abdul Bakar
When they come here, people have gone through such a great trauma and, when they are in need of a doctor, she will be the first person to call. She always finds a doctor.
Dr. Sofia has moved her Peace Clinic to Della Lamb’s refugee resettlement office so that she and her team of volunteer doctors can help maximum people. She also founded a local chapter of Muslim Youth of North America. Expressing her joy, Dr. Sofia commented
I feel like I was made for this; I cannot imagine myself not doing this. I’m so addicted that I don’t even spend that much time with my friends anymore. I spend it doing this work.