MedEvac – Medical Evacuation in Ukraine and beyond

Picture: CADUS

The concept of MedEvac has been historically proven to be a functional relief mechanism in medical emergencies, natural disasters, crisis situations and wars. However, it is usually a very costly, risky mission that requires the deployment of highly trained staff, impeccable operational plans as well as flawless communication and teamwork.

Today we are going to speak with Michail Liontiris, part of the CADUS Ukraine Emergency Response Team, about what MedEvac is basically about, its roots, its challenges and how they can be potentially overcome. Last but not least, we will debate on the ethical considerations of a MedEvac project: How do I perceive myself when saving patients and injured people? Who am I supposed to take and who am I supposed to leave behind? What are the limits of my capacities? How much am I allowed to risk my team’s and my own safety to carry out a mission successfully?

The discussion will take place both live at 20:00 at the CADUS Crisis Response Makerspace, and at 20:30 via stream. Ask your questions in the chat, or live in the makerspace under 2G+ conditions. Please do a Covid rapid test before coming, even if you are already vaccinated or recovered, and wear an FFP2 mask inside the makerspace. The talk and discussion will take place in English language.

Tuesday 12.07.2022
entry 20:00
start 20:30



Language: English

DEBATE recordings:

What is Debate?

It is important to us not only to provide help where it is urgently needed, but also to reflect critically on humanitarian practice regularly. Therefore, we invite you one Thursday of the month at 20:00 to a talk and discussion on a current topic of humanitarian aid.

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Previous Events

Solidarity with all!?


For years, people from crisis and war-torn regions have been fleeing across the so-called Balkan route in search of a safe place to live. People on the Move are stuck, in the Bosnian border canton of Una-Sana, in a "dead end" because the Croatian police systematically carry out violent pushbacks, i.e. illegal repatriations from Croatia to Bosnia.

This illegal, inhumane practice is co-financed by the EU. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation for those fleeing is catastrophic: they live in inhumane conditions in tents and ruins.

Since February 2022, approximately 5 million people have fled due to the war of aggression in Ukraine and many were able to find safe places in the EU within a very short time. This sense of responsibility and the lived solidarity for Ukrainian people on the run shows what is possible when the political will to act exists: safe escape routes and open borders are feasible!

How can this political will be harnessed and expanded? How can attention be distributed? And what role do associations that support People on the Move play in this?

As part of the monthly event "Debate! Humanitarian Aid" of Cadus e.V., Blindspots reports on the current situation in the Bosnian-Croatian and Slovak-Ukrainian border areas and shows the realities of life of people on the ground. In addition, the work of Blindspots will be presented - an association that supports People on the Move under the motto "SolidarityWithoutBorders".

We would like to discuss with you! Both live at 20:00 in the CADUS Crisis Response Makerspace, and at 20:30 via stream. Ask your questions in the chat, or live in the makerspace under 2G+ conditions. Please do a Covid rapid test before coming, even if you are already vaccinated or recovered, and wear an FFP2 mask inside the makerspace. The talk and discussion will take place in German language.

Solidarity in Neoliberal Times - NGOs, Yuppis and the Attempt to Deconstruct Global Inequality.


In this issue of CADUS Debate, we take a critical look at the role of NGOs in the context of transnational solidarities with Dominik.

Environmental protection, solidarity with people on the run, crisis prevention, fighting poverty - in bars from Berlin to New York, these topics do not necessarily polarize people. Rather, people who show solidarity are seen as particularly exciting, interesting or heroic, and in some cases earn enough for their apartment and life in Berlin Kreuzberg with these topics. A Yuppization of Solidarity?

Meanwhile, there is hardly a socio-political problem without a corresponding NGO and its employees. However, the fact that with the rapid spread of this form of organization, the problems are not getting smaller, gives reason to doubt.

In the lecture, the history of NGOs and their role in a neoliberal world will be critically examined, and a critical self-reflection will be encouraged. What disastrous effects on local civil societies can be observed? Where does solidarity end and wage labor begin? Why can't inequality simply be reflected away and why is "white saviourism" more than just a matter of attitude?

Discuss with us and ask questions, either live in the chat or on-site in the Makerspace! The event will take place under 2G+ conditions (vaccinated or recovered, additionally tested), masks are mandatory in the Makerspace.

In the depths of mountains: mining, people & the environment

What does the industrialized countries' demand for raw materials mean for the regions in the Global South where they are extracted? In this debate, Johanna Sydow from the NGO Germanwatch talks to us about working conditions, health effects and environmental damage in the context of mining. And she also talks about what this has to do with us: especially in the IT sector, there is a great demand for certain raw materials extracted through mining in the Global South.

How do those affected defend themselves against the consequences of mining, what are the current developments on the political level, and how can we ourselves behave responsibly?

We would like to discuss this with you! Both live in the CADUS Crisis Response Makerspace, and via stream. Ask your questions in the chat, or live in the makerspace under 2G conditions. You can find out more about the access requirements on the Makerspace page.

Cadus Mobile Hospital 2.0 - between creative innovation and international bureaucracy

Today's CADUS Debate is, for a change, about ourselves: what has our Emergency Response department been working on over the last few months?
In 2021, CADUS' Emergency Response has focused on two topics so far: the new concept/construction of a Mobile Hospital to be able to respond with new concepts to the dramatic situation of refugees at Europe's outer borders. And the process of classification as an Emergency Medical Team in accordance with WHO guidelines, in which we are now slowly entering the home stretch.

The balancing act that we have perform in this process is extremely difficult. In this Debate, we present to you how we have managed (in our eyes) to combine both projects. What is behind the new Mobile Hospital? What is its capacity, what is special about it, and what are the advantages when grassroots activism meets international bureaucratic madness?

For sure, we will come up with some contestable theses, which will maybe not only be met with approval. All the more we are looking forward to discussing them with you! For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, we will talk live in the CADUS Crisis Response Makerspace, as well as in the now familiar online format. Ask your questions in chat, or live in the makerspace under 2G conditions with a cool drink in hand.

More about the access requirements can be found on the Makerspace webpage.

New aerial surveillance: How Frontex watches is watching refugees drown

Image: Isreal Aerospace Industries

Since 2019, Frontex established a border force of 10,000 officers. The "European Border and Coast Guard Regulation" has been renewed twice by the EU in recent years.

Since 2016, Frontex has been allowed to purchase its own equipment. First, they invested in leasing air surveillance. This initially manned air service is now being expanded to include unmanned systems with much greater range. The Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) also now has a fleet of drones.

At Debate #21, Matthias Monroy describes how drones, as military technology, are now taking over the EU's forward-deployed migration defense. At its external borders, they create new sales markets for the European and Israeli arms industries.

New human rights violations are ensured with such militarized arerial surveillance. Ruben Neugebauer explains how Frontex now only observes refugees in the central Mediterranean from the air. Instead of rescuing themselves, the Tunisian or Libyan "coast guard" is informed about sea emergencies.

As always, we welcome your active participation and questions in the chat!

Planetary Health approaches to zoonotic spillover, indigenous health, and rainforest conservation

As industrial civilization assaults the worlds remaining rainforests the health and cultural diversity of indigenous peoples is threatened along with much of the biodiversity of the planet. In turn these human changes to ecosystems, combined with vast expansion of domestic animal populations, cause spillover of zoonotic diseases which threaten the health of people worldwide. As with HIV and Ebola, every death from COVID-19 is an environmental effect.

What actions can be carried out in response at the forest frontier and beyond? Jo Middleton (Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK) will talk about their work integrating indigenous health and rainforest conservation in Papua New Guinea, and give examples of similar work elsewhere as well as discuss some contradictions and ethical considerations. These approaches are framed by the emerging Planetary Health movement within medicine, which seeks to safeguard both human health and the natural systems that underpin it.

The event will be held in English, we are looking forward to your participation in the chat!


Bild: eGuide Travel CC-BY-2.0

Sanctions: international measures at a high price?

"EU imposes sanctions on China," "U.S. expands sanctions on Syria," "Japan extends sanctions on North Korea." In the news, one reads almost daily about sanctions as a political tool. When international law is violated or agreements are disregarded, the first international response at the state level is often to impose economic or financial sanctions. The population of the affected country is in many cases already in an emergency situation, which is often dramatically worsened by the measures. Thus, sanctions to punish regimes and dictatorships regularly become a test of suffering for a country's inhabitants. Much-needed humanitarian aid is equally affected by the measures and can only take place to a very limited extent.
Sonja Hövelmann, from the Centre for Humanitarian Action, explains to us in the next Debate why sanctions are often "well-intentioned" but usually hit the wrong people and collide fatally with humanitarian aid. Verena, the head of our Syria projects, will tell us about the daily life of our projects in Syria and how imposed sanctions hinder our work there.

The event will be held in German.
We look forward to your participation in the chat.

Open Source Software Toolbox for NGOs

Whether for logistics or financial accounting, the work of an NGO often requires expensive software that is rarely tailored precisely to the organization's specific needs. Especially vision-driven organizations struggle with tight budgets, limited resources and bureaucratic hurdles to realize their ideals.

OpenAnt is a software toolbox that attempts to cover all the diverse software areas of a charity, be it logistics, organization or public relations. OpenAnt is not only a toolbox but also a network. Nonprofits, users, developers and funders work together to improve the open source application.

In this Debate we will talk about how and where OpenAnt can support NGOs and what functionality might still be missing. Ben is happy to debate with you to what extent OpenAnt can be used by non-technical NGOs and what the limitations of OpenAnt are. We are looking forward to the discussion with you.

Humanitarian aid in political crossfire: about the osbstacles that have been put in our way on the way to Moria

A lot of refugees with their belongings standing in front of multiple tents from the UNHCR in the newly established camp on Lesvos.

October Now online:

Since May 2020, CADUS has offered medical aid for the refugees on the aegaean island on multiple occasions. The Greek government declined this offer with feeble excuses, at some point Greece stopped responding to our offers altogether.

At the same time one of the volunteers from our medics team in Berlin was on the ground in Moria and told us, how the local police is actively preventing the medical treatment of the refugees after the fires. The list of human rights that have allegedly been violated in Lesvos is long, and it’s getting longer every day.

In this issue of Debate we talk with Sebastian Jünemann, founder of CADUS and head of CADUS rapid response, as well as with Louis Kennedy, paramedic and part of the CADUS medics team. Louis will tell us about his experiences in Moria, while Sebastian will take a critical look at the international humanitarian aid-mechanisms and their faults.

As always you are warmly invited to discuss with us via chat.

Olinda, Brazil: making in times of COVID-19

September Now online:

Debate visits Brazil! The makerspace Casa Criatura in Olinda produced thousands of pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment) by mixing open, globally designed products with local practices, and donated it to local indigenous health authorities, Afro Brazilian traditional communities and public hospitals. The makerspace also developed an open source aerosol box together with physicists and teachers from reference hospitals in the region, igniting a community of makers and health care professionals around it. And, most importantly, the demunis, the ordinary citizens with community obligations, received support too. All these activities were accompanied by the overarching question, how communities can better care for themselves during pandemics.

We speak with Ricardo Ruiz, a member of the Global Innovation Gathering and the Careables network, about the current situation and activities in the city of Olinda and Recife, north-eastern Brazil.

Now available online:

Open technologies for free communication

July Now online:

About funding for and threats to Open Source Projects

The Trump government's current attack on the Open Technology Fund in the USA prompts us to take a look at the situation here: what funding is available and why is it important for open technology projects? Is free Internet also an issue for the humanitarian context?

We look forward to an exciting discussion of these questions with our two guests:

Elisa from the SUPERRR Lab has spent the last year researching and developing recommendations for funding agencies on how to better support infrastructure projects. As former head of the Prototype Fund, she also knows more about the bureaucratic side of funding than she would like to.

Elektra has been actively involved in the development of mesh technology for community networks at Freifunk and has taught in Bangladesh, India, Chile, Tanzania, South Africa and elsewhere. She works as an open software and open hardware developer and among other things initiated the B.A.T.M.A.N. routing algorithm for Freifunk networks and developed it with the Freifunk community. She was also involved in the development of the Mesh-Potato, a wireless router for wireless ad-hoc networks in globally disadvantaged regions.

Before Corona, with Corona, despite Corona - #leavenoonebehind

June Now online:

While people in Berlin now have to look closely to see that we are living in a pandemic, the situation at Europe's external borders is serious: there is a humanitarian emergency in the central Mediterranean and on the Greek islands. That was already the case before Corona, with Corona the situation has worsened and despite the easing of measures even there, the humanitarian situation is not improving.

Franziska Schmidt from the Refugee Law Clinic (RLC) Berlin on Samos and Ruben Neugebauer from Sea-Watch report on the situation and discuss your questions from the chat.

Global debt crisis - a Covid-19 problem?

The Skyline of Frankfurt am Main. ©Wolfgang Pehlemann, CC BY-SA 3.0*

May Now online:

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries had problems paying their debts. Horrendous interest payments have eroded the national budgets of many countries: they pay more to their investors than they spend on their health systems.

In this Debate!, we focus on global financial flows, the impact of previous global financial crises on gender (in)justice, and current attempts by NGOs and multilateral actors to contain the debt crisis.

We have invited Mareike Beck, Political Economist, currently at King's College London, to talk about these issues. Her research focuses on the politics of global financial markets, in particular the role of global banks in financialization and its impact on debt and inequality.

As always, everyone is invited to join the discussion after the talk - due to the current situation via chat! (Link follows)


Open Source Hardware in post-conflict and transition areas

May Now online:

The principle of Open Source is known mainly from the software sector, but is increasingly applied to hardware as well. This should make it easier to manufacture and repair, modify and recycle devices. Innovation processes can thus be democratised. The old question of ownership "Who owns the means of production" is thus reformulated as: "Who owns technology" or, respectively, "Who is - through knowledge and licenses - in a position to manufacture and further develop devices".

An interesting question in industrialized nations; and a potentially elementary question in (post-)disaster regions. Aspects such as speed, flexibility/adaptability, maintainability and the establishment of a local & independent ecosystem are of great importance here.

Should we open-source the world? Should we start in South Sudan? Should we leave these questions to GIZ...?

Martin Häuer from Open Source Ecology Germany and Stephen Kovats from r0g agency for open culture & critical transformation are looking forward to a discussion with you about these questions.

New disasters in a networked world: critical infrastructure and the Cyber Relief Agency

A person sits in front of an old, closet-sized computer

March Can our critical infrastructure be hacked? Is the electricity and water supply, but also the health system, control centres for communication technology or transport sufficiently protected? What consequences would successful cyber attacks have, what resources are available to the state, what is missing and what we can do - this is what Ijon, a member of the working group KRITIS, talks about.

This association of about 40 independent experts who deal with critical infrastructures professionally on a daily basis proposes the foundation of a civilian, voluntary and purely defensive Cyber Relief Agency.

OpSec for activists

February   Not only do extremely repressive states such as Syria or Turkey systematically monitor their populations, but actually democratic states are increasingly relying on systematic monitoring too. Nowadays it is possible to monitor and control a computer or a telephone with just a few clicks. There are many cases where such intercepted data has led to arrests and imprisonments up to the torture of (human rights) activists, journalists and other people who are unwelcome to the states. State actors are joined by Facebook, Google and others, each of which are their own private surveillance regimes.

And what does that mean for me? Are there secure computers / phones or should I rather not use technology at all? At the same time, organizations like CADUS and Sea-Watch or movements like Seebrücke and Fridays For Future are dependent on the use of technology. How do I decide what is secure and who do I need to protect myself from?

Frank Rieger is one of the speakers of the Chaos Computer Club and is looking forward to discussing with the participants about threats and possible measures against them. What can we do to protect our data and organizations?

Deradicalization - How to deal with ISIS-followers?

December   The so-called Islamic state is defeated militarily, but the idea lives on in the minds of the ISIS fighters and their families. In the refugee camps in northeast Syria the radicalization of the IS-followers continues. It is feared that a generation of Islamists traumatized by war will grow up. 63 underage Germans alone are said to live in Camp al-Hol in north-eastern Syria, where CADUS also works.

Much has been reported in the German media in recent weeks about the danger posed by returnees and their ideology. There is a great deal of helplessness about how to deal with them and the entire population in Syria.

But what can a solution look like? Is deradicalization the key to success? What are the requirements for sustainable therapy? How does this work and can it even be implemented in Germany or Syria?

We look forward to having Soraya Mentiply on Debate! with these questions!
She is a freelance socio-pedagogical consultant in the field of deradicalization and cooperates with numerous governmental and non-governmental actors. She has also worked for a counselling and contact point for extremism prevention.

Climate Crisis, Migration and Justice

Mossul 2017 by Kenny Karpov

November   te crisis is an essential component of the global justice crisis. It exacerbates poverty, social injustice and consolidates global inequalities. What is now increasingly becoming a threat scenario for people in industrialized countries has long since become reality for many people around the world. Today, there are regions in which the climate crisis is striking with ever more frequent and severe natural catastrophes. For example, unusually prolonged droughts are destroying local agriculture. This climate-related damage often leads to people being forced to leave their homes. Approximately 26.4 million people are currently fleeing due to environmental and natural disasters, most of them in the global South. It is estimated that by 2050 this number could rise to up to one billion people. Most of these people migrate within their respective national borders, and only a few make it across borders.

Even though there has been increasing talk of fighting for the climate for several years now, too little attention is paid to migrants themselves and the protection of their rights. There is a lack of international mechanisms to safeguard human rights and the support of those affected. In this event we will deal with the current situation regarding the rights of climate migrants and we will look more closely at the demands of those affected. How can we as actors in the global North show solidarity, and what approaches, demands or ideas are there for the work right here?

Najda Charaby is a speaker for international climate policy at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

No respect for our work?

October   "I have neither respect for your work nor your mindset" - Since the publication of the ZEIT Online article of 21.08.2019 about a female doctor deployed at al-Hol Camp in North-East Syria, where mainly IS members and victims stay, among them many women and children, we read numerous comments about it. Among them are many who support this mission, but also some who do not understand this kind of help.

Where does "humanity" begin and where does it seem to end? For the upcoming event in our DEBATE! series we invite you to discuss together with Sebastian Jünemann (CADUS e.V.) and Frank Dörner (long active in humanitarian aid and sea search and rescue) about this topic.

Perspectives on humanitarian work in North-East Syria and beyond

September     We start with an update about the work of CADUS in North-East Syria. Following, Saud Al-Zaid will take a close look at the social situation in the Middle East, focussing on the question what it means to grow up in war:

Millennials at War: Understanding Intergenerationality in Middle East Conflict Zones
There are basic paradigms utilized in simplifying the Middle East, the famous ones being Sunni/Shia, Nationalist/Islamist, Arab/Persian, etc. These descriptions tend to be static, putting a seemingly timeless and essentialist stereotype to understand complicated groups of people. This talk introduces NGO workers in Middle East conflict zones to the differences in intergenerational life-stories, adding the dimension of time within the context of identity and potential self-understanding.

Humanitarian aid in a forgotten country

August     "What would you wish for the people of this country?"
During his stay in the Central African Republic, Marcel, a MSF staff member, conducted four interviews with humanitarian workers (a surgeon, a nurse, a project coordinator and a facility manager) and asked them all this question. The answer was always the same: "To have a real peace". A bloody civil war has been raging in the Central African Republic for years. The civilian population lives in constant fear. Of the approximately four and a half million inhabitants, the UNHCR estimates that more than one million are refugees inside or outside the country. A peace agreement has been in force since February 2019. Since then, however, it has repeatedly become apparent how fallacious this peace is.

Marcel-Philipp Werdier works for Doctors Without Borders in the field of digital communication. Equipped with camera and smartphone, he visited several projects of the humanitarian emergency aid organisation in the country in February of this year. Especially in Boguila, in the north of the country, he collected impressions and interviews. In his presentation, the trained journalist talks about people who take on almost unimaginable challenges in order to receive medical support. In a mixture of lecture and travel report, facts and personal impressions this evening is about humanitarian aid in one of many forgotten countries.

Report of an EMT in action - and what we as Cadus can learn from it

July     David Mühlfeld (paramedic) and Joel Velimsky (logistician) were in Mozambique in spring 2019 with the "Emergency Medical Team 1 Mobil" (EMT 1) of Johanniter International Assistance after the Cyclone Idai. In our series "Debate! Humanitarian Aid" they tell us about their experiences on the ground.

We from Cadus are especially looking forward to this talk, as we are currently working on setting up our own EMT 1 mobile for rapid deployment in disaster areas. We are interested in what went well in Mozambique and in which questions we should perhaps take a different path. We are looking forward to a stimulating discussion, and as always, our Makerspace is ready to turn ideas from experience with humanitarian work into projects.

Measuring vital parameters in crisis areas with the open source project Life Sensor

June     The Life Sensor - that is robust, repairable and inexpensive vital parameter monitoring as an open source solution. For two years now, the Berlin universities HTW and BeuthHS and the Cadus Crisis Response Makerspace have been researching, soldering, programming, and documenting it. This provides an alternative to the conventional devices, which are oriented towards economic aspects and cause problems both in regions with weak infrastructures and in humanitarian aid.

This evening we will tell you about the need for innovations such as the Life Sensor, the challenges we have faced in its implementation, and how it will continue. We look forward to hearing your own ideas and suggestions on the subject, and you are welcome to become part of the project yourself.

Open Geodata in action

May    The OpenStreetMap project is the world's largest database of freely usable geospatial information. The project has enabled more than a million people to jointly create a worldwide digital map. Particularly vulnerable areas can thus be captured for humanitarian reasons and their data can be used in the field.

Felix Delattre works for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, a non-profit organisation that bridges the gap between the OpenStreetMap community and aid organisations. The presentation will give an insight into how OpenStreetMap is used in this context. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion.

"What's going on at Cadus?" - Reports from the engine room

April    Between "visiting the makerspace" and hanging out full-time at Cadus, communication gaps inevitably arise. Therefore, as an introduction to our Thursday series, a report from the engine room. What is Cadus up to, what is the new project in Syria, what is on the agenda in Iraq, how far is our EMT classification, what do we as Cadus want to achieve in the future. Deep dive into the Cadus operations and the plans for 2019, and of course discussion about where and when everyone can participate.