humedica distributes 3.000 new kitchen sets

by Linda Zimmermann/LKO, 2013/07/17

Resources available in the Ethiopian refugee camp of Melkadida are scarce and most people do not have the financial means to acquire these resources either. In order to help the people in the camp, who live in conditions of need and poverty through no fault of their own, humedica provides medical aid and arranges the distribution of urgently needed everyday objects.

28-year-old Linda Zimmermann from Ratingen currently works in Melkadida as an assistant coordinator and participated in the distribution of new kitchen sets.

“A long queue has formed in front of the gate. When I enter the large hall, I can feel the glances of the many people who are waiting to be registered. Today is the third day we hand out kitchen sets in the refugee camp, consisting of pots, plates, cups and jugs.

To provide 3.000 families with such a set turns out to be more complex than I had expected. It is mainly women, wearing colourful scarves and carrying small children, who are standing in extreme heat, wind and dust, waiting for these objects. Objects that can be taken for granted in Germany, but not here.

According to official figures, approximately 43.000 people, belonging to more than 9.000 families, are currently living in Melkadida. Consequently, about one third of the total population of the camp benefit from our distribution. The living conditions of the refugees, housed in tents in the desert, are harsh.

They are dependent on help from outside. Given the remote location of the camp, even the smallest things can represent a big challenge for them.

Apart from donkeys, sand and sunshine, there are few resources in the camp. Clean water, basic food items and medical care are provided by Ethiopian authorities and international aid agencies. On their arrival, almost two years ago, the refugees received a first set of everyday equipment.

Due to the harsh conditions of camp life, however, the kitchen utensils do not last very long and many of the refugees no longer have plates and pots. humedica would like to support these refugees through the relief supplies funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Early in the morning, we loaded our two off-roaders with pots, plates, cups and jugs. In the course of this day, we are going to return several times to renew our supplies. To ensure that the humedica team at the health post can do their usual work, we have hired some so-called incentive workers to assist us with the distribution. These are refugees who work for us on a daily basis.

Thus, they are able to generate an additional income, which they can use, for instance, to buy fresh vegetables at the market, a scarce good in such an arid environment.

Our hired workers are responsible for maintaining security in front of the hall. They check the names on our lists against the identity cards of the people waiting and assist us with packaging the supplies.

Unfortunately, our communication is limited to the three Somali words I have learnt so far: Sodowow – Welcome, Suk – Wait, and Whatmasantahai – thank you. This is not much. Luckily, we have some translators to support us.

At the end of the day, I am quite exhausted after a lot of lifting and carrying, but I am also happy about the results achieved. On our way back to our accommodation, we pass dozens of women who are balancing our humedica kitchen sets on their heads. They wave at us, calling something that, surprisingly, even I can understand: Whatmasantahai!

For the people living in Melkadida, help from outside is essential. Please continue to support humedica with a specific donation and help to improve the living conditions of refugees in Ethiopia.

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

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