As Christmas approaches and the story of a pregnant woman seeking refuge takes centre stage, we invite you to support the many pregnant and traumatised women at Lesvos.
With a recommended donation of £12 minimum, the money raised will be used to buy essential equipment, medication, shelter and supplies to perform basic examinations to prevent major complications, support traumatised women and their children.
In exchange for the donation, every day you will be able to download a free musical gem from the advent calendar website once you have donated to the project. A door opens in the advent calendar and your money goes towards opening a door of safety and maternity care to refugee women in Lesvos.
Amnesty International noted that in August alone, 33,000 refugees and migrants arrived on the greek island Lesvos.
The conditions of chronic include overcrowding and terrible sanitation, hunger, overstretched resources, including access to healthcare. Maternity care is difficult and violence, especially sexual violence is common. Women are reporting unexpected pregnancies after being raped along their journeys. From sexual exploitation and abuse to police brutality women are, as is so often the case, even more vulnerable to various intersections of trauma and abuse.
The Women’s Health Centre at the Lesvos Health Point wants to provide respectful, accessible and safe support and healthcare but can only do this with YOUR HELP.
They want to support women in 5 areas - here are also examples of how your money could be put to use:
- sexual health & reproductive rights kit:: (providing access to contraception, including emergency contraception (information translated into different languages), pregnancy tests, medications for STI’s and other sexual health issues) £25
- sexual violence survivor kit: rape kits (depending on safety of clinic from retaliation) £100 & comfort kit (£15)
- Pregnancy kit : Information pack on most common complications and how to prevent them if possible - translated to multiple languages, supplements & medication - £24) an ultrasound machine (£500)
- delivery kit (for deliveries happening on the road) including: instruments, sterile towels, swabs, analgesia, sanitiser, sanitary towels for post birth bleeding) £30
- new born kit (including: hypothermia & sterilisation for umbilical wound kits, feeding bottle, child carrier, set of nappies, supplements for mother and child) £60
- a safe, private mobile clinic coverted from a bus equipped with translators, a rota of volunteers for examination, support and treatment & basic medical supplies
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY FOR WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
- £3 baby’s bottle
- £10 provide decent clean medical supplies for an essential examination
- £24 - one pound per song, per day and gets you a pregnancy kit
- £55 - provides access to contraception and information as well as delivery kit
- £100 - provides a delivery kit and a kit to help keep a newborn baby alive in harsh conditions
- £500 buy an ultrasound machine
A message from the volunteer co-ordinators on the ground:
In the first week of existence, the clinical facility founded by I, Dr Hadia Aslam and Dr Linda Mizun, in Moria Lesvos, witnessed and looked after difficult and challenging cases involving women's health.
This included female refugees struggling with cases of abuse, rape, sexually transmitted infections, trauma, isolation, new and ongoing pregnancies.
"Let me give you an idea of what we saw:
1) A 34 year old woman arriving with her husband, escaping from the war zones of Afghanistan. Finding a white marquee set up on a field with a hand written sign outside saying "doctor". She came in complaining she had pain in her tummy. A pregnancy test done by my colleague showed this lady was pregnant. We rejoiced with her by torch light. It was a lovely moment. This was a pregnancy she had wanted for many years, and found it happened in the most stressful of circumstances.
2) A woman who suffered a likely miscarriage arrived with her husband. They were from Syria. She had bled a lot on her way here. She was 10 weeks pregnant. They were not sure if she is still pregnant. Her bleeding stopped a week ago. She was stable. But her pregnancy test now was faintly positive. I had to tell her I didn't know the answer. I wish I had an ultrasound scanner to see if she was still pregnant. But I didn't.
3) Our Persian refugee friend and interpreter called Zari, was with us for the whole shift from 8am till 11pm. Our colleagues walked her back to her tent at night.. Hazara women of Afghanistan are considered "low status" . These women are victim to abuse, specially in places like the refugee camps where no authority rules after dark. I wish I had a shelter to house Zari and hundreds of similar vulnerable refugee girls and women who are currently in Moria, with or without their male family members.The number of rape cases in Moria reported are significant. But those that are not reported are a much higher number.
I could tell you many cases like these but you get the idea. Please help as much as you can. Without your help, we can't help. We need your support. And we will continue to do the work that is much needed."Dr. Hadia Azlam and Linda Mizun