Earlier this month I was with my daughter Marianne and his boyfriend Lars, both doctors, in another mission in the Bekaa Valley.
This beautiful girl at the main pictures is 9 years old Lojayn. She is a Syrian girl on the run and is completely dependent on heart surgery abroad to survive the next few years. It is such a complicated operation that no hospital in Lebanon can handle it. We are now checking out with hospitals in Norway, and then the rest of the family must also follow the treatment for several years. Of all the thousands of refugees we have met here since last year, it is the first to ask if Norway can help us. Simply because we do not manage it ourselves in Lebanon.
After this week’s trip to Lebanon and our job of helping refugees along the Syrian border, we have met many new great people who need medical help. We focus on the most vulnerable and resource weaknesses in camps, often very tough priorities that need to be done every day on who we help and not. Also puts us in an almost impossible situation. The authorities in Lebanon and the UN simply fail to handle all that happens in the camps, where there are now 2 million refugees. Norway and many other countries feel completely absent here in the Bekaa Valley.
Chaotic and unstructured environment
Without Sandra Cederholm on the trip this time, she approaches the semester, I had my daughter Marianne Ydstebø and her boyfriend Lars Webb, both with doctoral education from Budapest. They were very skilled in meeting many sick refugees in a somewhat chaotic and unstructured environment.
In addition to meeting Lojayn, we have, as the pictures below shows, met the mother of the brave girl of 10 years who has had leukemia. We support life-prolonged treatment but unfortunately can not do more than that. Nor does the UN support refugees with severe cancer. The daughter takes care of her mother in a way that touched heavily with our hearts.
The 9 year old girl, Rafif, has also become seriously ill and lost a lot of weight in the last couple of months. She lives under bad conditions in a tent on a plot right up to the Syrian border. The picture shows the sadness in the face of Marianne, who considered her papers. We obviously follow, the girl is safe now.
Also good news
The 3 year old Sham, as Marianne checks, we will make sure to get an operation on the face with a new artificial eye. The world will never be normal for him, but we hope we can help to increase the quality of life of the poor boy. See also the father’s despair in the picture.
There are also good news from the refugee camps. Haidar, which has now become 7 years, gets better for each week. He takes care of the special diet we buy into him, he is around 8-9 kg now, and possibly ready for surgery later this fall.
Winter will come brutally
We also met a brave gang of 15-20 Syrian refugees who have some form of disability. They receive no help from the UN anymore as they must prioritize acute cases among new refugees. We manage to help a few here, but only the top of the iceberg.
Although it was closer to 40 degrees in the Bekaa Valley this weekend, winter will come brutally here in December. We need a lot of new tents, of course, but we also appreciated the help of other companies or organizations. We map the worst camps in the next few months and aim to get some new tent for Christmas.
The pictures also show some other children we investigated and have been taken during further treatment as well as some pictures from the camps.