It has been almost a year since our first training team in Rojava visited the border town of Sere Kaniye (Ras al Ain) and its local hospital. The city was occupied by the so-called Islamic State until the Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces liberated it in 2013.
At some point it seems, it had to hit us as well. For quite a time now representatives of other aid organisations active in North Syria kept asking us how we managed to get over the border of Turkey and Syria so easily.
For the time being, state institutions, as well as the Slovenian Red Cross disallowed any support of the refugees arriving at the border. At this moment we, as CADUS, mainly try to concentrate on our work in the regions of North Syria. Nevertheless, as two weeks ago we were asked to support structures at the slovenian-croatian border to help refugee arriving there, we agreed on taking over research and coordination from Berlin for activists on-the-spot.
On the one hand, there are general health care institutions that are run by the Syrian government. They finance two central hospitals, one in Quamishlo and one in Derik. But the financial support only covers the salary of the doctors working at the hospitals. In Derik (Al-Maliki), the last delivery of medicine has taken place one year ago.
18 months ago, when we first started, everything happened very quickly. The kid needed a name. We didn't waste a lot of time and thought, too much had to be done... events went head over heels. Anyway, content was more important than the cover.
The odds were against us! “If you want to go to Rojava” so they told us “you can only cross the border from Iraq or illegaly”. One day of waiting in Suruç and countless times of presenting our passports, however finally succeeded in us walking over the turkish-syrian border legally, right on time as the sun went down.