Last distribution of special soup carried out successfully

by Thomas Adelsberger/RBU,  2013/04/06

Big, sturdy plastic buckets have become a natural part of the normal street scene in Melkadida. What happened? Soup has been handed out in the largest of the six refugee camps on the Ethiopian border to Somalia. Potato soup produced by Gefro-Reformversand Frommlet KG for more than 40.000 refugees, who came to the distribution point in large groups to obtain their portion.

Last year, after a long journey, the container holding ten tons of potato soup already reached the humedica team that runs a health post for refugees in the camp of Melkadida.

Gratefully, the humedica staff accepted the responsibility and challenge of registering the needy and distributing the soup justly among the refugees. Families with many children, elder persons and people with disabilities were given particular consideration.

Finally, in February 2013, the last bucket left the container and its content of 18 kilograms of soup powder was handed out among the refugees. We are very glad that, thanks to the help of other organisations on site like Save the Children, RaDO (Rehabilitation and Development Organization), ARRA (Administration of Refugee and Returnee Affairs), GOAL and UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), we were able to find the needy and distribute the soup in an effective way.

After a sceptical first tasting of the soup – many Somalis had never eaten “soup” before – the soup’s delicious taste convinced them and the soup distributions became very popular. The distribution scenes will be long-lasting memories for the humedica coordinators Kornelia Uhlig and Thomas Adelsberger.

In the run-up to the distributions, the refugees had been asked to bring some kind of container with them in which to transport their portion of soup powder. Yet for some of the beneficiaries, it was not possible to bring any kind of plastic bag or other containers for the transport. But in most cases, a solution was quickly found: the veil of a dress or a headscarf were simply given a new function and the soup powder was quickly filled into them – sometimes we Europeans tend to make things too complicated.

A side effect of the distributions was that the empty buckets can now be used for other purposes very well. They are big, sturdy and versatile. Now we can see people use them as “shopping trolleys” at the refugee market, shower or toilet buckets in the sanitary facilities, as feed buckets for the mules and at many other places where they demonstrate the refugees’ creativity.

humedica would like to express its heartfelt thanks to Gefro-Reformversand Frommlet KG for this donation of soup powder and multi-purpose buckets.

Soup distribution a bit different from “normal”: Those who were not able to bring a container used what they had, such as a headscarf or the fabric of their dresses, for the transport of the soup powder. Photo: humedica/Thomas Adelsberger

Please continue to support us with your donation at the Horn of Africa and help us to provide the people living there with dental and basic medical care, treatment for pregnant women and children, the distribution of relief supplies and much more. Heartfelt thanks.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Famine Relief Africa
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

      SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB
      IBAN: DE35734500000000004747

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