The ResCO year 2018 started in January with the little girl Ayten. Everyone who has been following our work a little longer knows the story of Ayten, the little 2 year old girl that we could bring from Greece to Germany in 2016 together with her mother. She had severe liver damage caused by a hereditary disease. Here she received the intensive medical care she needed at the Hamburg-Eppendorf Clinic. Nevertheless, a liver transplant became necessary in January, which to our great joy and relief succeeded without complications.
In February Dr. Gammel was again on a special mission to Iraq. This time it was about completing the family of Khari and to unite two half-orphans with their mother. Khari was the boy that Dr. Gammel was able to bring to his family in Germany in the summer of 2017. He was severely traumatized and suffered from numerous injuries inflicted on him in IS captivity. Needless to say, Andreas did not land in Germany without the children.
In May we visited our clinic project in Gaziantep. Here we had to get to know our new pediatrician and our new midwife. This time I was alone but I could rely on the telephone support of Dr. Susanne Schmitz and her Syrian colleague Gheith. Of course I was in good hands with our hospital manager Abu Ziad and his warm family. I was able to convince myself of the work that had been done on site and to take care of everything that is not always possible from a distance. Even in the age of the Internet, personal conversations cannot be replaced. In the end, I was able to fly back to Germany with a good feeling and new motivation.
In the course of the year, the number of unregistered refugees (i.e. without state health care) in the catchment area of the clinic, whose care was the main concern of our project, decreased more and more. A goal which we have pursued in the 3 years of its existence (founded at that time by Dr. Susanne Schmitz of our 2nd chairwoman) with surprisingly small means, very efficiently and within the scope of our possibilities also achieved. For this we would like to express our thanks to our staff on site and the donors at home. And last but not least to Dr. Susanne Schmitz, who has borne a large part of the costs for the project from her own funds for a long time. So it was time to adapt our plans to the changed circumstances. We decided to end the clinic project as such and still maintain the important health care for the women. With the money of our donors ResCO now pays a local Turkish doctor for offering free consultation hours for Syrian refugees. For part of the money, it is contractually agreed, this doctor has employed the Syrian midwife, who in return cares for pregnant refugee women free of charge. In this way we improve the medical and obstetrical care of these people. But we achieve much more. We offer this midwife, who fled Aleppo to Gaziantep with her family, the opportunity to work legally in her profession in Turkey. So there is no reason for her and her family to continue to flee to Europe, and together there are 7 people. In addition, this midwife, who now has a secure economic existence, has taken in a Syrian orphan baby and provides it as if it were her own child. Our shop stewards in Turkey keep an eye that this treaty is respected in all aspects and that the baby is cared for lovingly and well. The part of the money intended for the midwife was taken over for one year by the Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk of Bita and Khalil Kermani in January 2019, following the mediation of Iris Paul. It is also a nice sign of how small and medium-sized organisations can work together without competition in the interest of the refugees. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this, but this is only one part of the project. And even if you don’t hear much about it in the media, there are still many people living in Turkey who had to leave Syria because of the civil war. Almost unimaginable, but alone in the city of Gaziantep (2 million inhabitants) 500,000 refugees have found shelter! They live there mostly under the poorest conditions, even if the Turkish state (also with money from Europe) takes good care of them within its possibilities. For this reason, ResCO is currently organising the distribution of stoves and other relief items to families living in unheated rooms as part of a family aid project. This project is led by our former clinic manager Abu Ziad. He can use the rooms of our former clinic project for this purpose.
Not to forget the story of Feryal who we were able to help thanks to the donors in December. Feryal is a now 17 year old Jesidic young women who had to flee in 2014 when the „Islamic State“ conquered her home village in Sinjar. Thank God she was not captured and enslaved, but she had to hide two years under the most miserable conditions in the basement of a ruin shot to pieces and there it was cold and humid in winter. She had middle ear infections again and again and her bones were eaten away and stuck together by them. With money, most of it coming from Mössingen and the surrounding area, Feryal could be operated successfully in Syria. She hears again and will come home in a few days – although „home“ is still a tent in the Bersive refugee camp near the northern Iraqi town of Zakho (Zaxo).
All these projects are „combating the causes of flight“. It makes much more sense than isolating ourselves and leaving the people at the gates of Europe to their fate, to give them a livelihood where they have provisionally been able to gain a foothold. No sensible person dares to flee dangerously across the Mediterranean, through miserable refugee camps on the Greek islands to a Europe which is increasingly hostile to foreigners if it is not forced to do so by necessity. If we alleviate the suffering in the transit countries, there is no reason for these people to continue to flee. If you share this view, we would be delighted if you would continue to support our work. Because one thing is certain. Your money goes 100% to where it belongs. When Dr. Gammel and I fly back to Gaziantep in February to get our new projects off the ground, we will pay both the flight and the hotel out of our own pockets, just as we have done for other trips on behalf of ResCO. All that remains is for me to express my sincere thanks to you all.PS: While you are reading this, a decommissioned ultrasound device is on its way to northern Iraq, where it is urgently needed. It goes on and on…
Sincerely Tim Eisenlohr (1st Chairman ResCO e.V.)