New friendships and a surprise

by Heide Weishaar,  2013/08/26

For two months, Heide Weishaar has been working as assisting coordinator in Lebanon in the context of the humedica help measures for Syrian refugees. In the second part of her report “A very special birthday”, she tells us about a usual working day, far away from her home in Germany:

“In one of the Syrian refugee camps I meet Hadeel. Hadeel is 15 years old and suffers from Spina Bifida, a malformation of the neural tube also known as 'open spine'. She can neither get up alone, nor can she walk.

She has got a wheelchair, indeed but the rolling walker and the corset, which enabled her to walk autonomously, were left behind during her escape from Syria. I move her legs so that they stay flexible and write down the exact data about the history of her illness.

Our Lebanese translator Layal and some drawings made by Hadeel’s brother help me to understand her story. I will present this case to our partner organization which allocates financial help for hardship cases like this one. It is often very difficult for me to take the decision, whom I am going to apply for and for whom I won’t.

After Hedeel’s treatment I step in front of the tent and watch, for some minutes, the hustle and bustle around our pharmacy table. Suddenly, a small hand is slipping into mine. I look down and see a shy smile of a child.

I need to swallow hard several times before turning towards the child and asking Shu ismek? – What’s your name? Ismi Fatma – My name is Fatma. Heather, our nurse takes a photo of Fatma and me and the girl is approaching me very closely. I have found a new friend.

Soon after that, it is noon and we pack our appliances and we leave for lunch. The children follow our car and shout loudly Bye-Bye. After lunch I go back to our apartment which is also our office.

I refer the patients suffering from diabetes to an organization which makes the access to the Lebanese health system possible for them. I handle the settlement of the last days, update the patients’ records and go shopping by car, before the team will come back to our accommodation after their visit to the second refugee camp.

Shopping in Lebanon really is an adventure. Apart from difficulties of comprehension, which often need the use of hands, feet and facial expression, the Lebanese traffic requires a lot of courage and composure.

Courage to dare entering into the chaotic traffic, in order not to stand at the same crossing after half an hour of waiting and composure for not getting nervous of all the continuous hooting and tooting.

The end of the afternoon passes quickly. I fill up our medicine case, cook, fill up the water tank and even receive a phone call for my birthday. Yet, it is interrupted because of a network failure.

When my flat mates call me for dinner, I am surprised: They had not only found a paper crown, chocolates and balloons, but they were also serenading me.

Even if my birthday doesn’t seem to be important in these environments, I am touched and pleased. We have dinner together and thus ends a very special birthday, which I will certainly remember for a long time.”

Please continue your support of our help measures for Syrian refugees in Lebanon with a concrete donation. Offer new hope to those people, who got into misery innocently. Offer them the hope that they will soon be able to celebrate their birthday again, too. Thank you very much!

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

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