Days in these mine-infested fields begin like any other, whether they will irreversibly alter someone’s life or not.
I’m writing to share some good news with you.
A few days ago, before I returned to the Ashti Camp for IDPs, I went from Barika, with Murad, Abu Malik, Raz and Andrea, to visit the healthcare centre for Syrian refugees which we opened in 2014 and handed over to the local authorities in 2017.
The camp has now been transformed into a village, in every respect; the tents and brick structures have now almost disappeared, giving way to actual houses.
The main streets have been tarmacked and all types of shops and businesses line the sides – small grocery stores, the photocopy shop where we used to print documents and buy paper materials, little restaurants, hairdressers, and even a shop that sells wedding dresses…
On the road up to the Centre, there is now a park, with a playground for children and several trees.
The Centre, on the other hand, seems exactly the same. I want to say hi to Bahaadin, the current head of the Centre but beforehand I go to see if anything has changed since the handover. The guards at the entrance, the triage area, the garden which is still lush and well-kept. So onto the waiting room, the rooms where patients are received, the laboratory… everything seems identical to how we left it.
While I speak with Bahaadin, I also glimpse the archive of patient records, which still follows our model.
Everything continues to work with our approach – attention to the people, the care and the environment. In this camp, where today almost 10,000 people live, EMERGENCY has treated, over the years, more than 120,000 men, women and children. Here I’m seeing the future which we hope to provide for all our projects, the fruits of all the training we’ve invested in, to guarantee the operational autonomy of the facilities we’ve built, treatment of people that starts with us but goes beyond us. This gives us the greatest satisfaction.
A hug from Iraq.
– Chiara, EMERGENCY Staff