Thoughts from Pakistan: help from an unknown country

by Judith Kühl,  2010/08/15

humedica coordinator Judith Kühl wearing the traditional veil. Photo: humedica/Simon Gelzenleuchter

Just as she was in Haiti at the beginning of the year, Judith Kühl is currently in charge of coordinating reporting to Germany; she is prepared to give interviews, writes reports herself and her objective is to inform, to give incentives to think and to make people in Germany aware of emergencies. The difference is: this time Judith is not working in the Caribbean state, but in Pakistan. In the reporting series "Thoughts from Pakistan" you can read about the experiences and emotions of our young employee.

"Thank you for being here"

Someone taps me lightly on the shoulder. When I turn round, a young Pakistani woman is looking at me. Silently, she extracts a piece of paper from under her veil. It is a note written by our doctors, stating which drugs she needs.

When I show her where our chemist is, she indicates that she has already seen him. She has a timid, but still determined look about her. At the same time she keeps talking quietly, then she lowers her eyes for a short moment and suddenly she shakes my hand. "I only would like to say thank you for being here," she says slowly.

Even before the flood life had not been easy for the Pakistani woman Ranagan, but now the flood has deprived her of any future perspectives. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

Embarrassed, she goes on: "I wish I could do you some good, but I don't have anything left. I lost everything during the flood. My house, all my food, my clothes".

She tells me that even before the flood she had been so poor that no man of her village would consider marrying her. And since she has no family, she does not know how to go on now. She is alone and without protection. Her last possessions have been carried away by the flood.

Ranagan is 25 years old, but she seems older. The sadness in her eyes is evidence of how much suffering she has already undergone in her short life. The flood two weeks ago has aggravated her situation dramatically. Where is she supposed to go now? Who will help her?

She has found first shelter on the school grounds where we operate our mobile humedica hospital. The flood victims sleep in dirty and mouldy classrooms. For Ranagan this is the only place in the region where she is offered help.

She shakes my hand gratefully and follows me unobtrusively. All day long she accompanies me like a shadow. Our interpreter says sympathetically: "She is clinging to you, because she doesn't have anyone else".

As a team we could offer her medical help. But Ranagan did not only receive drugs from us. She more and more seemed to gain a feeling of hope, which lighted her face ever brighter. A feeling of not being alone, because people had come to help her. They even came from a country she had never heard of before."

Dear friends of humedica: please continue supporting the work of our medical team in Pakistan. This disaster is of a size we can hardly stand up to without your financial support.

You can send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90 and contribute a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into our project work. Please also donate for the flood victims in Pakistan via our online form, or choose the traditional way of supporting us by transferring your donation to the account below:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Flood relief Pakistan"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Many of the flood victims do not know where Germany is. But the help from the unknown country gives them hope. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

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