Start a Heart – Funded

14 September, 2020 Update: New hard paddles for defibrillators donated.

We are very grateful to STRYKER, a medical supply company in Sydney who have donated 5 brand new hard paddles for the 5 Defibrillators that were donated from Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.

The defibrillators are in the shipping container that is expected to arrive in Kurdistan in a few weeks time.

STRYKER organised import of the new hard paddles and they were given to me recently by their representative Cate Ayers. We are so thankful for their generosity – retail price for the 5 hard paddles is $A3,730.

My job is now to get the hard paddles freighted to Kurdistan so that they can be distributed along with the defibrillaters.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of freight please go to our home page and simply click the DONATE button.

Thank you.

2020 Medical Equipment on its way to Sinjar Hospital

We have been given donations of medical equipment by generous Donors that will be delivered to Sinjar Hospital in Northern Iraq. The equipment is packed into our shipping container heading for Kurdistan right now.

History of the Sinjar Region and Yazidi people:

Sinjar has been the centre of the homeland for Yazidi (religious minority) people for generations. Sinjar is the city that was decimated by ISIS/Daesh on 3 August, 2014. On that day, thousands of Yazidi people fled their homes up onto Mt Sinjar to escape ISIS. It is believed that approximately 10,000+ Yazidi men, boys and old people were killed. Others perished on the mountain in the summer heat, in many cases because they had fled without water and food. About 5,000 women and girls were kidnapped by ISIS and have been held in captivity and sold many times as sex slaves in markets. There are still over 2,000 women and girls missing – either still in captivity of ISIS or killed and missing. Further atrocities were committed on 15 August 2014, in the village of Kojo/Cujo/Cujoo with 1,826 residents. ISIS separated the men from the women and all the men (except one young man who pretended to be dead from the shots he received) were killed and over 1,000 Yazidi women and children were kidnapped. Some of these women and girls are still in the hands of ISIS, some have been rescued by relatives paying a ransom to ISIS, some are still in captivity in refugee camps in Syria and some were beheaded by ISIS only last year.

Shortly after this genocide, 300,000+ Yazidi people fled into Syria and Kurdistan seeking refuge. They were placed into refugee camps in Kurdistan and have lived in the tents in these huge camps in shocking conditions for the past 6 years. Summer temperatures reach over 45 degrees and in the tents over 50 degrees. Winter brings chilling winds, rain in huge amounts that cause flooding of the tents and snow that has brought down roofing and buildings in the camps.

Since July 2020 close to 10,000 Yazidi’s have returned to Sinjar to try and rebuild their lives, their homes, their schools, their shops and employment opportunities. They are seeking response and assistance from the Iraqi government to acknowledge this genocide and assist in the rebuilding of Sinjar.

Sinjar Hospital:

The hospital in Sinjar is a small 10 bed hospital with very little medical equipment. The needs are immense especially during this period of COVID-19. Last year, Kim and I took a new oxygen concentrator in our luggage to Kurdistan which was then transported to Sinjar hospital. Also a transportable oxygen concentrator for the ambulance was donated by a Doctor in Germany. These were the first oxygen concentrators given to the hospital and ambulance. Prior to our donation, patients had to be transported on a 6 hour journey in the one ambulance to a hospital in Mosul – many patients did not survive the journey.

Medical Equipment Donations for Sinjar Hospital:

Our Yazidi Doctor friend Dr Hussein had given us a list of medical items that are required by Sinjar hospital. Dr Hussein then updated me with the urgent request for oxygen.

Shortly after this request an anonymous donor made the offer to supply Sinjar hospital with the following new medical equipment:

  • 1 x 10 litre Oxygen concentrator
  • 1 x Oxygen Filling Station
  • 1 x Oxygen cylinder
  • Spare parts and Oxygen Analysers

Together these items ensure that oxygen can be on hand on a continual basis for use in the hospital.

We have also been able to pack into our shipping container a donated Defibrillator, a Paediatric Ventilator, a stethoscope and 680 x Masks for Sinjar hospital.

Our Heartfelt thanks to:

We give thanks for the very generous donation of new medical equipment from our private donor in Australia

We acknowledge and thank Alethea Gold, Australian Ambassador for NGO smartAID for connecting us with the donor.

We thank John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia (through their biomedical department) for the donation of medical equipment and a private donor from Melbourne for the masks. JHH supplied many items for our last shipping container and we truly appreciate their support for our ongoing projects.

#MeetingMedicalNeeds #SupplyingLifesavingOxygen #ThankYouToOurDonors #OfferingLifetoRefugees #GivingHope

2019 Women’s Health Workshops

Operation Hope received 2,200 women’s health kits, from some of the NSW & Qld chapters of the International organisation “Days for Girls”, and included these kits in our first shipping container project to Iraq. The kits arrived in March 2019 and following a fund-raising event during refugee week in June 2019, $3777.00 was sent to the Lotus Flower to help support the start of the workshops.

These kits are distributed in Women’s & Girls Health Workshops run by NGO “The Lotus Flower”. The participants in the 3 – 4 hour workshops are the traumatised women and girls who are either refugees or internally displaced women living in the massive tent camps in Kurdistan. A local Coordinator will oversee and train local women from the camps, who will present the workshops in their native language.

The presenters will each receive a salary which will bring financial stability and independence for them. Long term the workshops will continue using women’s health kits made by the women (often widows and/or recently released by ISIS) who work in “The Lotus Flower” sewing groups in the camps. These workshops and distribution of the kits provide a sustainable long term employment program for many women and give education, dignity and independence to many women and girls. Operation Hope is financially supporting the workshops. Thank you to those who have donated to this wonderful project.

Aid Distribution progress

The team from Joint Help for Kurdistan has started distributing the humanitarian aid from the shipping container. The arrival of the container and its release for distribution coincided with the Kurdish New Year celebration of Newroz. Packages of toys, clothes and gifts were distributed to the most needy families so the parents would be able to give them to their children at Newroz.

Distribution to the needy at Baged Kandal Camps 1 & 2 continued today as more packs prepared by the Joint Help for Kurdistan crew were distributed. Thanks to Salih, Amina H Juno, Ahmed, Hamo, Aido, Saado, Heat Sdfa, Dr. Ahmed, Majid and Jalal.

It has been a huge job in preparing, cataloging, packing, weighing, shipping, getting it though the border, then customs clearance, but now to see the hard work going to those it was intended to help makes all the stress worthwhile.

And yes – the shipping did go over budget due to the delays at the border and at customs, so if you can help us cover some of the US$3,000 in extra costs, our projects for 2019 can start immediately.

Marwan

You may remember that we asked for donations sometime ago for a number of operations that Marwan required after sustaining horrific leg injuries in an airstrike in Mosul.

The staff at the ADRA/Adventisthelp emergency field clinic have taken on board organising the operations for Marwan in a hospital in Erbil.

About two weeks ago, Marwan underwent the first operation which included debridement of the wound and the bone and putting cement in between the fragments.

His second operation is scheduled for August.  We will keep you updated.

A donation for this first operation for Marwan was remitted from Operation Hope.  This donation was made possible from a bequest from Sandra Manco and her friends in memory of her ex husband Romano who passed away.

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ABDULMALIK

….. the continuing story of dear little Abdulmalik, the boy who was caught in an airstrike in Mosul last year.  He suffered horrific injuries and needed an extensive operation to realign his wrist and lower arm.  This surgery occured in December 2017 and we have just had word that the follow up surgery by a plastic surgeon has been successful.

Funding of both operations for Abdulmalik was possible due to donations to the Operation Hope ‘Christmas Appeal’.

Thank you for giving the gift of hope to this little boy.  He will return to the camp near Mosul for his recovery.

Our kind thanks to Darya Mustafa for his help in organising and ensuring both operations were performed by specialists in Erbil.  Darya also organised the transport from the camp into the hospital on many occasions for assessment, surgery, pre – operation testing and checkups.   This work was done in his own time and often funded from his own pocket – thank you for your dedication to the well being of these people.

fullsizeoutput_5103IMG_2458Skin from his right leg was used in the graft for his right hand, wrist and arm.