Happy New Year?

by Margret Müller/RBU,  2012/01/26

Back in Germany, but in their thoughts still with the people in the mission country. Many of the honorary humedica mission team members experience this feeling after returning from their relief missions. Also Margret Müller, who was active on the Philippine island of Mindanao after typhoon “Washi” during Christmas and New Year, still thinks a lot about her experiences there.

At first, Margret Müller had been active on the main island of Luzon in autumn. In December she took part in another mission on Mindanao Island. Photo: humedica

Merry Christmas”, the people called to me, wherever we went. Some of them were sitting in a circle next to the pile of rubble that had once been their house. Others were huddled amidst the ruins of their lives, under plastic canvas which gave them some protection from light rain.

Merry Christmas? In the middle of the disaster region? Apart from the fact that, for me, the heat and humidity did just not resemble the kind of Christmas I was used to, the knowledge of the misery numerous families were suffering due to the flood and mud waves made Christmas feelings absolutely impossible. So many people had lost family members and friends. So what was there to celebrate?

Often I would have wanted to hide behind my camera – so it could take in and process the pictures that sometimes were too hard on me. Where exactly had all the houses stood, that must have been there? Who had played there? Whose few possessions had been buried there?

How long can you wash at the broken water pipes under a road, live next to the stagnant sewer? What to do with the waste? What with their lives? How can the many children live on such rubbish tips?

Questions that moved us, but at the same time emphasised the necessity for our help even more strongly. On December 31 we had the opportunity of running a mission in Rongongon together with the Filipino armed forces and the helicopter they put at our disposal for free. This region had been affected by the floods so strongly, that there no longer was any way of reaching it by land.

Once, there had been houses in the place the helicopter, which had been put at our disposal for free, chose as a landing site. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

While flying across the rain forest, we gained a clear impression of the extent of the disaster. Many mountainsides showed ugly brown wounds, which were the results of large-scale landslides that had caused the immense force of the flood wave. The river, which had burst its banks to both sides, wound its way through the country like a large brownish scar. On the left and right of the actual river bank, there was nothing but brown emptiness.

All that remained was a bare stretch of land, with no traces of houses. Within a very short time, the people arrived at our humedica treatment centre and we could finally provide them with the medical help they had been refused for such a long time.

A few days later we once more flew to a so-far unreached region and, as we had done some days before, we could treat far more than a hundred patients together with local relief assistants and thanks to the drugs we had brought with us. The armed forces continued these missions to unreachable areas also after our departure.

Also beyond these missions we could observe how medical institutions in Mindanao resumed their work step by step after the first shock, and after our temporary support they were eventually ready to deal with medical care by themselves once more.

Therefore, we could start our journey back home. Back home with a heart full of upsetting, but also touching and hopeful impressions. In a state of exhaustion, but also deeply grateful for having offered relief and support from Germany and for the possibility of having been in the right place.”

Hence, medical relief aid in the south of Mindanao Island has been concluded successfully. Thanks to your support we were able to run this mission in the first place, and we would like to pass on the gratitude of those affected, which our mission team members report again and again, to you.

Deeply touched and knowing that medical aid on Mindanao Island can once more be dealt with by local doctors, the humedica team returned to Germany. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

The humedica relief goods distributions on the main island of Luzon, however, will be continued. Please support these measures by means of a targeted donation via our online form or by making a donation to the account below. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Flood relief Asia
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Another fast, secure and direct way of supporting us is to send a text message: send a message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. You will be charged 5.- euros, with 4,83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica relief projects.

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