European Refugee Crisis: HHI in Croatia

Refugee Family

An aid worker helps a refugee mother and child pick some donated clothing items in a refugee camp in Croatia.

 

UPDATE: HHI continues to provide aid for thousands of refugees in Europe.  In January 2016, HHI  shipped 10,000 blankets to camps in Serbia.  Several thousand more, along with more aid and supplies, will be sent soon.

◊◊◊◊

Sept. 2015 – HHI responded to the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe.  An initial shipment of aid went to Greece and HHI placed a team on the ground in Croatia, working with relief agencies and partner orgs to coordinate delivering more aid.

Our team visited temporary camps erected along the Croatia/Serbian border, reporting back that although refugees rotate through every 24-36 hours the camps are overflowing capacity.

Support HHI & Global Refugee Aid

Most of the refugees they encountered are coming from places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.  They’ve made their way from these war-torn regions into Greece, then up into Serbia and then cross over into Croatia for processing, before moving on further into Europe.

Refugee Processing

Refugees await processing in large tents in a camp along the Croatia/Serbia border.

 

Relief Aid Shipped

So far, HHI has sent a shipment of 9,000 HHI Care Kits to help with this crisis.  The aid is en route to Greece and the International Medical Corps which will distribute the hygiene kits to refugees there.  Watch the video to see the first shipment being loaded onto a FedEx truck at our Operations Hub.

 

You can help with this relief effort. Please donate now.

Support Global Refugee Aid

 

 

 

 

A Moldova Update…

Want to bring you up to date on Heart to Heart’s anniversary airlift to Moldova, currently underway.
Our medical & non-medical volunteers, along with State Department personnel have been busy: teaching, training, delivering medical aid, traveling the country, meeting with dignitaries and ordinary people. It’s quite a lot to pack into a nine day visit. But our team reports everything is going very well.
Following is an update from HHI’s Dr. Gary Morsch, who is part of the volunteer medical group, along with photos from the trip.

DW HHI

THE BIGGEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED…

We’re now in day five of our nine-day mission. The medical education team is putting on seminars on the topic of hospice and palliative care, with our doctors teaching in medical schools and hospitals, while our nurses are teaching with the Moldovan Nurses Association. We also have a non-medical volunteer team with us, and they have been working on several projects.

I got to see one of their projects yesterday when we visited the town of Lipoveni, where the service team provided sports equipment for the school, and a backpack filled with school supplies, plus a blanket, to every one of the 270 students.

The community put on a big ceremony, with dancing and music performances.The mayor said that this was the biggest thing that had ever happened to their community. They were ecstatic, to say the least!

Over the next few days, we’ll continue our medical education programs, while the service team finishes building a gazebo for hospice patients at a large hospital in town. Friday night the US Ambassador is hosting a dinner at his residence in honor of Heart to Heart.

Everything is going very, very well! It really couldn’t have gone much better… $12 million in meds, a super team of volunteers, and great work being done by the medical education and service teams! Thanks to the home team who came through with a plane load of medicines, and organized this great airlift… perhaps the best project ever!

Dr. Gary Morsch

###

A State Visit, Now Let’s Fly…

Recently, Heart to Heart traveled to Washington, D.C. for several events.

First, to see our anniversary airlift fly out of Andrews Air Force Base heading to Moldova.  And second, for a State Department ceremony marking 20 years of the FREEDOM Support Act.

That bit of legislation paved the way for hundreds of airlifts to the countries of the former Soviet Union.  It was signed into law four months after Heart to Heart’s pioneering airlift to Moscow in May of 1992, the airlift that actually birthed Heart to Heart as a non-profit and NGO.

During the past 20 years, Heart to Heart has flown several humanitarian airlifts to various countries in Europe & Asia, working closely with the State Department under grants provided under Operation Provide Hope.

“Operation Provide Hope shows what can be accomplished when relatively modest foreign aid leverages the incredible resources and enthusiasm of U.S. charitable organizations and private companies,” said Daniel Rosenblum, the State Department’s coordinator of U.S. assistance to Europe and Eurasia (on the far left in the photo above).

Read more remarks on the 20th Anniversary of FREEDOM Support Act

As it’s been 20 years, the State Department invited Heart to Heart to attend a commemoration, and provided Heart to Heart founder Dr. Gary Morsch an opportunity to speak on behalf of all NGO’s that have participated in these airlifts.

Not too long after the ceremony ended, it was wheels-up for the anniversary airlift.

This airlift is Heart to Heart’s largest yet under the State Department’s Operation Provide Hope, in terms of value.

Packed onboard an Air Force C-17, medical aid and supplies weighing 18.5 tons and worth $12-Million (U.S. wholesale), took off from Andrews AFB for Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe.

Accompanying the cargo, state department staffers, and a team of doctors and medical personnel recruited by Heart to Heart who will work with their counterparts in Moldova to distribute medicine and aid, and conduct training.

Read more from the State Department on the Moldova Airlift

The trip to Moldova is still underway… We’ll have photos and more once our Heart to Heart team returns stateside.

DW HHI