CADUS 2019 and up into year six!
We say goodbye to the past year 2019 and thus the fifth year of our existence. We review 2019 and look ahead to 2020.
So up into the sixth year of CADUS!
2019 was a special year for us. Not only because we have started your biggest project yet with our hospital in al-Hol camp and grew quite a bit as an organisation. Also, we could celebrate our fifth anniversary! But unfortunately there was a particularly bad news as well. The Turkish assault on the self governed Northeast Syria has grave consequences for the local people and international humanitarian help. It is also affecting us. But let's start at the beginning. Here is a short roundup of our year 2019.
Emergency Response Balkan
Our teams were also making home visits in vacant buildings now inhabitated by refugees. Photo: Christoph Löffler
Throughout winter and into spring we were providing medical care to refugees in the streets of Sarajevo. The EU's isolationist policy has caused thousands of refugees to get stranded in Bosnia, where they barely receive any support.
We treated over 2600 cases, everything from a common cold and injured feed resulting from long marches in bad shoes, to frostbites and burns as well as bone fractures, bruises and other wounds caused by the violence of Croatian and Bosnian security forces. As expected, the number of patients declined with the beginning of spring and we could finish our project as a success. We happily handed over our shower truck this winter to a Czech aid organisation who is working with refugees in Bosnia.
New challenges in Northeast Syria
Just as we wrapped up our project in Bosnia, a new major task arose in Northeast Syria. The al-Hol refugee camp, construed for 20.000 persons, was overwhelmed with over 50.000 people fleeing from the remaining Islamic State territory. Many of them were in bad health and some were fanatic IS supporters. With almost no international help, handling them an almost impossible task for the camp's health and security infrastructure.
Our hospital is well attended, the beds are always occupied. Photo: CADUS
We heeded the call for help and supported our partner organisation Heyva Sor in setting up a field hospital. Meanwhile we are running it on our own and can treat 30 patients simultanously and perform surgeries. A distribution center, also run by us, coordinates the distribution of patients within the camp and transfers to regional hospitals, if necessery. We also try to improve health care in a sustainable way by providing medical training to local staff.
Successes in the former IS capital
Our health station in ar-Raqqa could report some achievements as well. The treatment of tens of thousands of patients, the majority being women and children, serves as a proof how big the need for basic medical care is in the region. By setting up a gynecologic station we could close a big supply gap and we are happy to be able to continue this project this year in cooperation with Heyva Sor.
View into one of the doctor's offices, including an ultrasonic device for the care of pregnant women. Photo: CADUS
Between frustration and emergency aid
So far, so good. So we keep our promise from last year's review and continue to be active in Northeast Syria. However, one of our fears voiced then has become reality: Turkey has attacked Northeast Syria for a second time. Those pictures should still be in everyone's minds. We helped with our teams in the hospitals wherever we could and we raised donations.
It was so much the worse for us when we had to retreat from the region. To leave friends and colleagues behind felt like treachery for many of us. Even though, after many fearful night shifts in our Berlin crisis center joy prevailed as our team reached Iraq safely.
At the same time, our local staff continued our projects and distributed food to refugees. For the time being we support our partner organisation by providing ambulance cars and help them run the Tal Tamer hospital.
A shocking incident was the assault on an ambulance team including one of our staff. Luckily, everybode survived despite grave injuries. The constant attacks on aid and rescue workers is an issue we have to deal with since our founding. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight of these violations of human rights and international law. We continue our work nonetheless.
There's something going on in the Makerspace
At „Debate!“ we're discussing issues revolving around humanitarian aid with experts. Previous knowledge not required! Photo: Christoph Löffler
Questions about all aspects of humanitarian aid were keeping us busy. One example being how to treat (former) IS supporters. The coating of civilisation seems to wear thin on this issue, human rights suddenly become debatable. Our new event series „Debate! Humanitarian Aid“ gave room to this and other topics. We invite speakers into our Makerspace and dispute in a casual setting in order to communicate complex issues to the public.
But this was not the only change in the Makerspace. After the University project involving our construction kit for a vital signs monitor has ended, the project is being continued at our space by the name of „Life Sensor“. A small community is driving it's development and we were able to demonstrate the Life Sensor successfully on a Maker Fair in Kenya among other places. Our intention is still to keep it open source.
The prototype of our Life Sensor kit is quite remarkable but there is still a lot left to do. Photo: CADUS
The same is true for the mobile incinerator, which was developed in our space as part of a Bachelor thesis. In the future, this device could be used to dispose medical waste by small aid worker teams. Especially mobile teams often lack the possibility to do this in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. This gap can now be closed.
We will continue working in our Makerspace, but for 2020 new research cooperations with universities and institutes are planned as well. A few little hints? We can give you this: „hazmat suits“ and „smartphones used as microscopes“.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We are not going to rest on our achievements - even though none of us can quite believe that we have been providing humanitarian aid for five years already.
We say „thank you“ to all our supporters with a big smile! Photo: Christoph Löffler
But one thing is true for every single year: Without your help as supporters and donors, none of our projects would be possible. Without the many solidarity events, thousands of hours of volunteer work, critical and affirmative words, publicity, engagement in our missions or in our Berlin team – without all of this, we could never have put our projects into practice. Together, we made CADUS what it is today. For this, we want to thank all of you once again, hoping that we can carry on doing humanitarian aid in a different way. Discuss, debate, do!
Here's to another five successful years and a great 2020 for all of us.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your CADUS team
Author: by Jonas Grünwald