Cadus, logo

CADUS is a charitable and independent aid organisation. We initiate innovative and sustainable projects focussing on need-based capacity building to help people help themselves. Our team develops projects based on their variegated professional experiences and competences within different lines of work. The interdisciplinary and European wide cooperation with several partners and the consideration of social, sustainable and ecological aspects is understood as a matter of course.
Effective teamwork, interdisciplinary and critical reflection of established NGO-practice, as well as the early involvement of the local communities are central values for CADUS.

Currently we work in the area of humanitarian aid in the Kurdish governed parts of North Syria (Rojava). Help is virtually non-existent although inhabitants suffer under the consequences of the continuing war, the attacks of the IS and the international humanitarian and economic embargo. At present we build a mobile hospital, train paramedics and physiotherapist and provide material for technical rescue. Our ideas and projects aim to contribute to fight the very reasons to flee.

Our engagement in the region is summarized in this video.


As there is no comprehensive aid from the EU we expand our focus, adding the movement of refugees towards the European borders to our concerns. We support the sea rescue mission in front of Lesbos and cooperate with SeaWatch.


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search and rescue

The year is coming to an end and winter is coming. It’s getting colder, wetter and rougher outside. Bad conditions to start an already dangerous escape over the sea. Boats flip over time and time again in the turbulent Mediterranean and people are drowning. The prospect of spending another harsh winter in the poor equipped refugee camps far from their destination or home motivates many people to risk the life-threatening crossing before the onset of winter. As we can’t expect much support to end the dying in the Mediterranean Sea by the state, we have to start on our own!

That’s why we from CADUS decided to plan our own search and rescue (SAR) mission off Lesbos, to support Sea-Watch and Calais Action who are already working there and try to cushion the expected rise in crossings a little bit. We are going to cruise the coast with rigid-inflatable boats (RIBs), harbour refugees, give them instant medcial aid and then get them to Lesbos, where they are taken care of by our competent partner organisations.

Arrangements are made in full swing – boats are aquired, teams are put together and contacts established, to give this project a go as early as possible.

The question arises: How to finance all this? Well, CADUS wants to upcycle old and unusable life-jackets and let them be sewn into bags to finance this SAR mission. But why not re-use the lifejackets, when so many people are drowning?

The answer is simple: Many of the life-jackets are floating death traps – cheaply made, filled with paper and only buoy you up for minutes before they drag you to the ground of the ocean. The much better use for them is to be used as upcyled bags and thus help us to finance search and rescue missions.

We are willing to help people on the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean in practice and, next to our main goal – the fight against the root causes of escaping, hope to save at least some lives.

You can help us on this: with our crowdfunding!

We won’t stop the dying at Europes shores completely – that can only be done on a political scale. But we can try to save lives and offer some refugees a safer crossing!

paramedic training

The health care system in the region of Rojava in northern Syria has been destroyed by four years of civil war. Medical professionals have either fled or fell victim to the civil war. Since September 2014, CADUS sends medical teams into the region, primarily to support the hospital in Serekaniye.

Cooperation with Heyva Sor a Kurd

CADUS works closely with Heyva Sor a Kurd (the Kurdish Half Moon). Despite difficult circumstances due to the embargo, Heyva Sor a Kurd manages to provide free health care service. They also look after wounded wo*men fighting the IS.

The concept – modular “train the trainer” program

Upon request from Heyva Sor a Kurd, CADUS started training medical professionals in Rojava (paramedics and physiotherapists). This educational program lays the foundation for a comprehensive paramedical service in Rojava. In consideration for the participants’ ongoing workload, the course takes place in 10-day-trainings and is repeated in 6 consecutive parts.

The aim is to set up a ‘train-the-trainer’-system in the medium-term to enable Heyva Sor to provide the training themselves and make ourselves redundant as fast as possible.

CADUS also currently builds a mobile hospital in Berlin that could provide medical care to regions like Shengal where at present there are no aid organisations operating.

mobile hospital

CADUS is building a mobile hospital. Mobile, because those regions in northern Syria and Iraq, where people have to fight the IS, are still populated and the battled front is shifting constantly. Areas liberated from IS, have no functional infrastructure, especially no medical one.

It is not without risk to establish in-patient health care services here. Should the battle front shift again, chances are that everything falls into the wrong hands and is destroyed by the IS.

That is why we chose the concept of a mobile hospital. Based on concepts related to disaster relief, we will provide 4-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with a hospital, including diagnostic and surgery as well as 10 “in-patient” treatment places.

Apart from covering regions where currently no health care is available, the mobile hospital will also be utilized to train medical assistants and nurses as part of our courses with Heyva Sor a Kurd.

technical rescue

Imagine you just had a car accident and you’re badly injured and trapped inside your car. Instead of rescue workers, civilians arrive at the scene and try to free you from the wreckage with their bare hands. Instead of having professional equipment at hand, some mechanic will have to use the most rudimentary means to free you. And that is only if you’re lucky. Not a very comforting idea but sad reality in huge parts of Syria right now.

Similiar scenes are taking place every day in the course of resucuing buried people after one of the many air raids flown by the Syrian Army against its own people. Whether through bombs and rockets from fighter jets or through improvised bombs thrown out of armed helicopters- every air raid takes civilian lifes! To free them and possible survivors from under the rubble, volunteers started to form local comitees of the Syrian Civil Defense Forces, commonly known as “White Helmets”, as early as 2012 in several towns and cities throughout rebel-held Syria. Volunteers in the PYD controlled parts in northern Syria are also trying to install a civilian search and rescue system to deal with the immense destruction and the ongoing attacks from the so called Islamic State. It’s not unusual that the volunteers are standing in the crossfire and are targeted by air raids and other forms of attacks.

CADUS does not want to forsake the people who put their lives at risk to save others. They lack first and foremost technical equipment and professional training. Two things, that we can provide with you as an ally. Hydraulic spreader and scissor are standard issue at german fire departments and the technical emergency service. One can not find any in Syria right now. We want to support our local partners with one set of hydraulic scissor/ spreader and a training course (1 week long). We plan to transport five of these sets to Syria. That kind of machinery helps to drastically shorten the extrication time – often a life and death matter.

As the root causes of this ongoing conflict will not likely be solved politico-millitary in the near future, practical solidarity is now very much needed. The daily fear of bombardment is the most crucial root cause for flight for most of the Syrian refugees. Hencet his project a first further step to soften the causes of flight on site.

Please help us with our goal to support the people in Syria in practical solidarity! You can support our project by simply talk about us and our mission with your friends and family, make it public on Twitter and Facebook and of course by donating to our campaigns.


No Life without water – the UN estimates a minimal water demand of 50 liters per day per person, including 5 liters of drinking water.

For most people in regions of crisis or disaster this would be pure luxury. In many cases not even the lowest basic supply is guaranteed. Providing usable water as well as a wastewater infrastructure is therefore a major issue for Cadus. In a lot of emergencies, it is possible to set up a high tech first response unit – long term solutions are much more of a challenge.

In order to develop these according to the specific circumstances and taking into account technical questions as well as social and cultural ones, Cadus is collaborating with researchers and industrial partners. Our goal is to establish an infrastructure that can provide a safe access to drinking water as well as a sustainable wastewater solution run by the local population. Besides the technical set up, Cadus is also organizing workshops to educate people about the relationship between the quality drinking water and health.


The coordination of supporting organizations is one of the biggest challenges in disaster aid.

Disrupted mobile communication and lack of internet reduce communication possibilities to conventional encounters on an individual level. This complicates the coordination between organizations and the reasonable division of technological and medical tasks.

Supported by the HTW Berlin, Cadus is developing a p2p-based communication system.

This enables organizations to:

  • connect to each other (Who is on site? What do the organizations offer?)
  • allocation of tasks according to resources of organizations in an optimum way
  • asses and communicate the quality and quantity of damage
  • Furthermore, the software is designed to support organizations in their daily tasks in rural areas in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Through metadata analysis the effectiveness of the measures taken can be evaluated. This data can also be of use for interdisciplinary research projects.

Cadus is carrying out the planning and implementation for the software that will then be provided to NGOs.


Search and Rescue operations currently suspended

CADUS is operating together with Lifeboat the former sea rescue cruiser “Minden” on the Libyan and Tunisian coasts, as part of the international rescue fleet.

Following the assault on the vessel of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) “Bourbon Argos” in the area of operations, the “Minden” has been moved back to Malta and will stay retired until some light had been shed on the incident, in order to protect the crew complement.

Read more …

Injured but not out of action- Rojava's Mala Birîndara

We are writing this article as two Europeans who are living and working in Rojava. One of us has spent six months working in the physiotherapy department at the military hospital in Kobanê, and both of us have made some visits to the Mala Birîndara (MB) for YPJ/YPG in Qamişlo.

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An End to the dying in the Mediterranean!

Cadus is initiating the operation "Mind 'n' Rescue". Starting from today, Cadus will be a part of an international crew on the rescue cruiser "Minden" provided and operated by the lifeboat gGmbh. Thereby, we are supporting the effort of the civilian organization to rescue refugees in need of the Libyan and Tunisian coast.

Read more …