Visiting the Slums

by Ruth Bücker,  2010/09/08

After a long day of visiting numerous authorities, looking for a team accommodation, and driving around in the car for hours, Vicky, a male nurse of the Pakistani relief organisation Riverside Slum Children Project, and I visited families living in the slums at the shores of river Indus.

Friendly hosts who have lost everything. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

We left the road which had been submerged completely during the flood and was still lined with flotsam and waste, and took to a narrow trail leading to those regions of Sukkur that had been affected worst: the slums between the river and the retaining wall.

I did not know what to expect when visiting people who had lost everything and were living amidst the rubble, mud and polluted water. Perhaps the families would get angry, think me a curious onlooker and would not welcome me.

But just the opposite was the case. Within only a few minutes, we were surrounded by numerous little girls and boys, all of whom wanted to shake my hand and greeted me with the words “hello miss”. Such amazing was their friendliness that after only a short time I no longer felt like an uninvited onlooker, but like a welcome guest.

The families showed us the chaos and destruction caused by the water masses. Proudly they showed us their chickens which were pecking for food in the mud, and their makeshift hearths at open fires. They invited us to join them around their hearths and did not even complain about their misery, their inflamed and swollen eyes or their crusted, flaky and infected skin.

The proud mother of a baby whose future is uncertain. Photo: humedica

Neither did an old man whose cough sounded alarming, and whose rattling breath was a ghastly background sound to our visit, complain about his condition. I honestly admire those people.

I felt highly honoured and also was a little touched, when Vicky translated an older woman’s invitation to look at her granddaughter, since she would love to show me the child. Under the care of the medical team of Riverside Project, the organisation which Vicky works for as a mobile hospital nurse, the tiny, but healthy girl had been born only three days before.

Please, dear friends and donors, support us by means of your donations so that we can return a little of the hospitality and friendliness these people showed towards me, and would show towards anyone, in the form of drugs, medical care and sustainable reconstruction measures.

Only a few days from now, the humedica team will already be supporting the existing commitment of the Riverside Slum Children Project and set up mobile hospitals at various refugee camps in order to provide medical care to the people living there.

Thank you so much for supporting our teams in Pakistan.

Please continue supporting us by means of sending a text message containing the reference DOC to 8 11 90 or by making a donation for the flood victims in Pakistan via our online form or to the account below:
       humedica e.V.
       Donation reference “Flood relief Pakistan”
       Account 47 47
       Bank Code 734 500 00
       Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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