Although the refugee crisis is no longer front page news, there are still thousands of people who rely on Doctors of the World to provide healthcare.

Our volunteers and staff are there treating people from the beaches of Italy and Greece, to the camps in Bulgaria and northern France.

But we can only do this thanks to the generosity of donors. That’s why, in Refugee Week 2017, we launched a new fund to provide healthcare to refugees across Europe and the world.

Your gift can cover the costs of our healthcare volunteers

A donation of £52 will pay a small allowance, food and accommodation for a volunteer like Kharman.

Kharman, a 55-year-old Londoner, spends her days in northern Greece’s refugee camps. As one of our interpreters, she helps the camps’ pregnant women and new mothers explain their health problems to our medics. When our team has to refer a woman to hospital, she heads there with them.

“We see a lot of Yazidi women who are fleeing ISIS. These are people who have lost everything,” says Kharman, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to the UK from Iraq almost 30 years ago. “We see people who owned land and had jobs – and now they have nothing. There are women who are going to give birth soon and they don’t even have clothes for their baby.”

The crisis is no longer front page news, but the problems are still there

When the crisis was front page news, kind people like you stood up for refugees and generously donated money, time and essential items.

More than ever in the current climate, there’s still a need for good, caring people like you to stand up for refugees. I was horrified to read recently about a far-right group in France who raised over £55,000 to pay for a boat to disrupt rescue missions in the Mediterranean.

Over 1,650 people have already drowned this year trying to flee war and persecution. Many who do survive urgently need medical care which is not being adequately provided by the European states they seek refuge in. You can help them by giving to our new online refugee fund now.

You can provide basic hygiene and support women, children and young people living in refugee camps

I want to share one story of how kind donors have already helped refugees in 2017. You may remember my colleague Shyamantha’s trip to Bulgaria in March.

There she met Ibtisam*, a 17-year-old Somalian refugee.

When Doctors of the World medics found Ibtisam in her bedroom in a Bulgarian refugee camp, they rushed her to hospital. She had frostbite and gangrenous spots on her feet that could have led to amputations if left untreated.

“As soon as they saw me, they knew it was an emergency,” says Ibtisam.

In order to reach safety in Europe, Ibtisam had walked for several days with a group of strangers over the mountains along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey. It was January and temperatures were often below -10 degrees Celsius.

That’s why we started a special support project for Bulgaria’s unaccompanied minors in January. Our teams work in four refugee camps to find the children, give them winter clothes and hygiene kits (pictured below), assess their health needs, and help them compile the documents they need to join relatives they have in Europe.

It is projects like this that you can support by giving to our new refugee fund today. Just £10 will pay for a basic hygiene kit for a refugee. £52 (€60) will cover the costs of accommodation and food for a volunteer doctor working in a refugee camp.

I hope you will be inspired to stand up for refugees in their moment of need.

Kind regards

Leigh Daynes, Executive Director

*name changed to protect identity