Project Stories:

Warm Hearts on Cold Days

Refugee Relief in Serbia

by Karin Frischknecht, 2016/11/10

Long ago the media stopped to report on the humanitarian situation along the Western Balkan route, the reports about refugees now focus on new hotspots such as the Greek islands or the Italian border area.

But still there are thousands of people waiting in the so-called transit states like Serbia or Macedonia. Since April this year the coordinator Karin Frischknecht organises the relief operations of humedica at the Serbian border town Presevo. Please read in the following lines what the 26 year-old reports on the situation of the waiting refugees.

„Especially the people, who are still stuck in transit countries such as Serbia on their way to the West, struggle with the continuing refugee crisis. humedica teams worked in Presevo for more than one year now and have seen all aspects of refugee life. From the 1.000 people, who passed through every day in the beginning, the refugees, who stayed on only for a short period of time up to the ones, who remain more or less trapped and must now be accommodated for a longer time.

The situation in the Balkan remains difficult for the refugees. Presently the camp at Presevo houses approximately 700 people, half of them are children. Their prospects have become gloomy since the closure of the border. Many of them live in the camp for more than three months now.

Karin Frischknecht, humedica Coordinator

In the meanwhile the people have formed some kind of big family, they celebrate birthday parties and other festivities. But all this can not cover up the fact that they are stuck. Day by day you see the growing concern in the faces of the parents. The question, what tomorrow holds for them and their children, is omnipresent.

The treatment of dizzy spells is daily routine for the humedica nurse Edita. Photo: humedica

Every day our humedica team opens the doors of the small camp hospital for all people seeking help, sick persons as well as those, who wish to share their sorrows and thoughts with us. Countless pairs of feet pass our threshold daily and our medics treat diligently colds, toothaches and other health problems.

At the present we prepare for the icy winter in Serbia. The days become shorter and colder and due to these conditions our team gets more and more work. But together with the refugees we will stay on here in Presevo to defy the cold winter days. The fates of our many different patients provide us with daily motivation for our workdays, which often are not easy. We welcome them with care and friendly words to enrich the daily life at the camp with some humanity and encouraging laughter. “

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