The war is over – the pain remains

by Jacqueline Colin, Lina Koch,  2013/10/16

The world is magnetized by Syria. The pictures in the evening TV news seem to be showing a never ending flow of suffering and destruction. Images of a civil war which deserve, without any doubt, our attention and which appeal to our charity.

In Kosovo, war has been over for a long time now. The weapons were silenced fourteen years ago and the country seems to have come to rest. But reality, the life of the people marked of violence, gives a different impression. For that reason, humedica is not only helping in crisis regions like Syria, but is also committed to countries like Kosovo, which have disappeared from the public focus since long.

In the middle of September, Jacqueline Colin, a Belgian nurse travelled to this South-Eastern European republic in order to procure medical help to poor people there, together with the German pediatrician Andrea Kranen-Sutter. In her retrospect, she tells you about her experiences and impressions and also reveals which persons she is deeply grateful to:

“When I was asked to say some words about my medical relief action in Kosovo, I gladly agreed. But where should I start? My impressions have been so manifold. So enlightening and somewhat startling, too.

I will start with two wonderful people who I could get to know during my work there. David and Cindy Johnson, the managers of the humedica children’s day-care center Krushe e Vogel, in the south of the country, are the best hosts you could imagine.

Their care and love for the people in Kosovo become apparent by every word, every story and every advice they give. They are a benediction for Kosovo as well as for my colleague Andrea and me, because we could stay with them during our assignment there.

From our base in Krushe e Vogel, we visited remote regions with our mobile hospital. The inhabitants of these regions normally didn’t have the means nor the possibilities to reach medical treatment.

Our local humedica colleague Alban had already prepared every village for our visit. Our workplace had been organized and all inhabitants informed. A great achievement, which he and our translator Korab even improved by keeping us always in best humor.

During our consultation hours, it was especially the countless physically and psychically depressive women who struck me most. Many of them suffered from posttraumatic stress syndrome, which has haunted them since the terrible war in the 90s. .

It seems as if public life urged them to forget all their distress and to leave behind their past – but how could this work, if the loss is so big, if they are shattered and if you cannot even trust your neighbor?

These mothers and grandmothers are inconceivably strong. They don’t talk about their experiences, they don’t show any weakness, they bear the pain. But they cannot trick their own body. The tears they have held back for years thus become manifest as hypertension, diabetes or diffuse pains in the breast or the neck.

Naturally, also regular patients visited our consultation hours. People who needed conventional medicine like little girls suffering from stomachaches or boys with growing pains. They also depended on our care and attention.

There were young mothers, still adolescent themselves, who visited us together with their three or four children in order to get urgently needed vitamins. Their poverty obliges them to eat inadequate food which makes them ill. Their lives seem to be dead ends.

On the one side, it was good to offer a helping hand to all these people. On the other side, the consternation about one’s own powerlessness threatens to overwhelm you. Sometimes, this deep sorrow comes to the surface, for one moment you allow your tears to be shed. A short moment – a short time of consolation. A way to show the people that we are here for them and that we feel with them.”

Dear friends and sponsors please show the people in Kosovo, too, that we are there for them – that we haven’t forgotten them. Support our work in one of the poorest countries of the world with a directed donation. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Kosovo”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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