Refugee Support Express – 20 September 2018

19/09/18

WELCOME TO THE REFUGEE SUPPORT EXPRESS

THIS WEEK: 

Help for Jawad

Our amazing supporters recently helped transform a life by helping to source a new prosthetic leg for Musham. Since then we discovered that there is someone else on the camp with a similar need and now he will also get the help he needs.

Javad is a valued community leader. He helps others on the camp while he waits to be reunited with his wife and daughter. It is painful for Jawad to walk on his old prosthetic leg because it no longer fits correctly. And it’s dangerous, as the risk of infection with old silicone is high.

A local prosthetic specialist transformed Musham’s life for €1,700. After publishing Jawad’s story, we were delighted that generous donors came forward to do the same for him!  His plea was impossible to ignore:

My name is Jawad Salimy. I am a political immigrant from Iran who emigrated in 2011 to Turkey. I have wife and a 9 year old daughter there. During a demonstration in 2006, the bullet of the dictator regime of Iran impacted on my body and hit my right leg, which caused loss of my leg and partially my abdomen, and I received severe surgery. As the result of all these, I have incontinence issues, and my right leg requires a new prosthetic.

‘Accepting charity is an ugly business’: my return to the refugee camps, 30 years on, by Dina Nayeri

“When you arrive from Lesbos, dirty, tired, starving, dignity is that package of shampoo, deodorant, eggs, coffee, bread . . . Then, when you’ve showered and slept and cleaned up, that package becomes humiliating . . . That’s when you want choice. After you’ve lived in a camp for a few months, the store with fake money and strict friendship rules becomes humiliating, too . . . There’s a shelf-life to this.”

Listeners of our Standing with Refugees podcast will remember Dina Nayeri from last year’s podcast. Dina and Paul discussed her controversial article ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’, and the ‘debt’ attached to refugees who attain asylum.

In the podcast, the pair discussed how we can lighten this burden through dignified, respectful, and catch-free aid. Last Saturday, Dina published a beautiful piece in The Guardian that encapsulates how we endeavor to offer dignity to refugees.

Dina joined Paul at Katsikas and LM village in Greece earlier this year. Her latest article documents her return to a refugee camp after 30 years, and the complex feelings of pride and dignity surrounding charity that challenge refugees long after they’ve left a refugee camp.

“My mother and I used to talk about the irony of so many of the world’s refugees coming from the Middle East – we are such prideful people, and a refugee is the most abject creature of all: stateless, homeless, without control over her own food, education or health. Asylum seekers is so mild a phrase – we weren’t politely seeking, we were ravenous for it, this animal need for safety for our bodies. How do we survive the memory of it?”

We thoroughly recommend this read today.

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STAYING INFORMED – WHAT WE’RE READING

This week, we’ve been reading a chilling report about Lesbos from Médecins Sans Frontières:

Moira is in a state of emergency

 

”In all of my years of medical practice, I have never witnessed such overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions, as I am witnessing now amongst refugees on the island of Lesbos. The majority of people I see are presenting with psychotic symptoms, suicidal thoughts – even attempts at suicide – and are confused. Many are unable to meet or perform even their most basic everyday functions, such as sleeping and communicating.”

As we prepare to welcome 500 new residents to Katsikas camp , we are concerned about the welfare of those joining us from the surrounding islands. We will do all we can to offer dignity to refugees on camp.

NOMINATED FOR THE NANSEN AWARD

We’re excited to share this week that we’ve been nominated for the 2018 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. We look forward to attending the award ceremony in Geneva on 1 October.

While we didn’t make it onto the shortlist, we are in great company, as the finalists are all doing extraordinary work to offer dignity to refugees

Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next week.

Please contact us today at info@refugeesupporteu.com if you would like to help offer dignity to refugees or get in contact.

Refugee Support