Serbia: Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support
Provision of Medical Response Teams to Support Refugees and Migrants in Serbia
March 18, 2016
Summary of Activities
RMF helped with the provision of medical assistance including basic physical exams, diagnosis and provision of essential medications. Treatment of minor injuries such as wounds resulting from climbing over fences and other injuries sustained due to their journey. Provision of psycho-social outreach support. Assistance with translation and cross cultural communication. Distribution of food and non-food items.
Training for the medical teams was facilitated to ensure that staff engaged have an understanding of the historical and current socio-political context in which the project beneficiaries are fleeing their countries and to ensure that medical interventions are facilitated in a culturally and gender sensitive way.
The provision of a medical team and medical supplies and pharmaceuticals have improved the comfort and eased the journey for vulnerable refugees migrating to Western Europe.
The RMF team ensured that any emergency cases are referred to the closest medical center, that the train officials are aware of the respective emergency and prepared to stop the train, and in some cases an ambulance is available to transport the patient from the train to the closest hospital.
RMF has been responding to the refugee crisis in Serbia since January 2016, by providing comprehensive protection and medical services, including emergency triage, to persons of concern. Our teams work in and around the Belgrade city center and at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre, the second largest refugee camp in Serbia. We operate 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM five days a week at our mobile medical clinic located in Obrenovac, with a second medical team providing referrals for secondary and tertiary care institutions. From 2017 to 2018, we also provided services near the border with Croatia, operating the medical clinic at Adaševci Transit Centre from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM, seven days a week.
Additional programs include a mobile dental clinic at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre—the first of its kind in Serbia—providing dental care for migrants, who previously only had access to emergency interventions. RMF Balkans also distributes hygiene kits at six camps throughout Serbia to help improve personal hygiene and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. To improve the residents’ quality of life, RMF renovated Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre in 2018 and continues to maintain and use the renovated facilities to conduct cultural and empowerment activities.
- Provide comprehensive protection and assistance response
- Provide material assistance and information
- Provide psychosocial support
- Provide translation and cultural mediation services
- Support existing medical institutions with capacity and mobility
- Establish an information dissemination hotline
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Train Diary: Suhaib
Our team decided to make a "Train Diary". Refugees can handwrite everything what they have on their hearts, and feel some sort of relief on their trip.
My name is Suhaib. I’m 26. I went out from Syria, because there is no safety anymore. I’m married, and I will become a dad, and if I stayed in Syria, I would not have seen my baby. I decided to travel with my wife, looking for safety and stability and I could not find another place rather than Germany. I want to build a better future for my wife, child and family.
I want to become someone important who helps those ones like me. The war made us hate being human beings. It made us suffer a lot, and we were victims. For that reason I ask everybody, who will read my words, to believe that we are humans or remind us we are humans. Our trip was very hard; the hardest part was in Syria, then in Turkey.
We entered Greece with smugglers and step by step, we started to feel that we are humans. Of course, all of this is thanks to my wife, because she is strong woman, and my son who is inspiring me to be strong. I wish peace with all my heart. Thank you a lot because you gave me a chance to talk about everything what is on my heart. I wish to arrive to Germany and become a good example for Syrians and I wish you could help me to go back to Syria. That’s it, sorry.
Train Diary: Muhamed Ibrahim
My name is Muhamed Ibrahim, Syrian, city of Aleppo. I don’t know how to start or what to write, because I feel big sorrow inside me. First of all because of my country and my family who left without any meaningful reason and then because of the suffering that I am feeling right now and still don’t know if there will be more suffering. I’m asking myself why is this happening right now.
When we grew up and started building our future the country was destroyed and we have nothing left than the mercy of God. I was forced to run out of my country without my will because I had three brothers and now I am alone, a refugee without address. I thank to God for everything.
I know that I’m not lucky and this time I realize that ‘’the luck is a magnet, and I am a tree’’. Because after we risked our lives, and we passed across the sea safely, and we get into the country of Croatia and there the tragedy started, and the only thing left in my life – have been my love, my wife Valentina, that left her family and the whole her world, than ran out from bombing from Syria, with intention to come to Turkey and be with me.
I was planning to live beautiful life and fulfill all her dreams. But unfortunately I could not do anything for my girl rather than telling her that I love her. Now she is pregnant, she’s having our baby and that is giving me will to live. If I will have son I am going to name him after my brother, who died.
After we arrived to Croatia they treated us so badly, and they sent us back because of one reason – because I had Turkish stamp in my passport. But, other people also had the same stamp, but they all managed to pass.
Even if we had that experience, we will try again, and we hope that this time we will make it and we will have bright future, without blood, without war, without destroyed buildings. I am sorry because I wrote so much, but I was feeling like something is choking me, and now I feel such a relief. I thank the medical crew that was with us.
Train Diary: Muin
This is me, leaving behind me my country, leaving behind my family, leaving behind my kids, and leaving behind me a destroyed country, I don’t know. It’s destiny. This is me, looking for mother country, country of security and safety, and country of love and respect. This is me, a lost human, who does not know his destiny, who does not know when he would hug his brother, hug his sister, and hug his family, and I don’t even know when I’m going to hug my kids. This is me going to the country of rights and love, a country that respect humans, which respects feelings, and spreads hands for other people. After that, I think all the countries that contributed in protecting us and take care of refugees. I thank to the Red Cross and UNICEF. I thank to Medecins Sans Frontieres and I thank to everyone who contributed in the happiness of kids and women. With love and respect. Thank you, Serbian organisations, thank you Dejan, thank you Senda, thank you Ljuba, thank you Stefan, and thank you Europe.