There has hardly been a year that has caused as much upheaval as 2015. It was a year in which violence was ubiquitous. We saw it in the media: terror attacks in Paris or war reports from Syria or the Ukraine.
We saw it outside the daily news coverage, for example in Afghanistan, where human rights violations and gender-based violence against women and girls keep increasing. And we see it in Europe, where the so-called community of values of the EU leaves thousands of refugees who are fleeing, at the external borders, or in overcrowded reception camps, to a fate of despair, exploitation, or death.
Policy-makers and society bear a responsibility towards those who come to us seeking shelter: to protect them and to give them a perspective. That includes providing security, work, language lessons and, particularly, stress- and trauma-sensitive counselling and support.
In order to assume its share of this responsibility, medica mondiale made Germany one of its project countries in 2015, and is going to train full-time staff and volunteers, who work with refugees, in a stress- and trauma-sensitive approach.
At the same time, we have been involved, since March 2015, in northern Iraq where thousands of refugees are now living. There, we support local authorities and women’s rights initiatives working on behalf of women and girls.
Many people in Germany want to do what we do – to help women and girls seeking refuge in Germany or elsewhere in the world. Therefore, 2015 has also been a year of solidarity – and that is encouraging. You, our supporters, have also taken action and supported us and our project colleagues with donations, messages of solidarity, creativity, and a lot of commitment.
Thank you very much.