Overseas treatment for Gambian children
In June 2012 Project Aid The Gambia started a cooperation with the German charity “Friedensdorf (Peace Village) International”. Sick and injured children are brought from The Gambia to Germany for often life-saving surgeries.
The little patients undergo a strict selection process in The Gambia. Children from areas of war or crises can only be admitted into the programme if they are so seriously ill that there is no hope in their home country. A typical and sad case is the burn of oesophagus. It happens when children drink caustic soda which is used for instance when producing soap. The soda is stored in used drinking bottles and small children take a sip when without supervision. Many children have then to be fed via a gastric tube or with liquid food only as they can not eat solid food anymore. An operation is usually not possible. There are also children in the programme that suffer orthopaedic problems after an accident or were born with a malfunction or suffer a chronicle infection.
It is crucial that a reasonable treatment option is available in Germany.
Children travel to Germany without their parents. Upon successful treatment children return to their home counrties after some time of rehabilitation in Friedensdorf own Campus, where children meet age mates from other countries but similar stories.
Project Aid The Gambia advises and supports the parents in The Gambia when preparing their children’s trip, organizes passports and visa and also flight tickets. While the children are in Germany, Project Aid facilitates the communication between Peace Village and the parents.
It is hard to imagine the feeling to send an ill child on its own to Europe and receive a health child back after a few months. Every time children return home both parents and children are incredibly happy and the atmosphere at the airport is unique.
Additionaly to their health the children also benefit from their stay in Germany. Each takes a bag of clothes home to the family. But there are also the experiences children have from meeting other children from different countries and cultures. The children live together in Peace Village if they are not admitted to hospital, they study each other languages. Skin colour or language are no barriers to children but an experience. So when the kids go home they also take back tolerance and togetherness, which is very important in today’s world.
By now (January 2018) about 50 children have been flown to Germany for urgent medical treatment – in 2017 13 children were brought to Germany.
The cooperation of Project Aid The Gambia and Peace Village was established through Hanna Lohmann, member of Project Aid, who at that time was employed by Peace Village.
Please watch this GRTS Gambia TV news report on the arrival of children from overseas treatment in Germany below or | here |
Please read this review on the cooperation of Project Aid and Peace Village | here |
Listen to this program of the Gambian radio station „AfriRadio 107.6 FM“. Dr. Hassan Azadeh of the University of The Gambia is talking with Matthias Ketteler, chairman of Project Aid, and Marena Demireiyan und Kevin Dahlbruch of Peace Village on the overseas treatment for Gambian children | here |
For news stories on our organisation and our projects please visit our Buschklinik-Blog | here |