Activity Report - 2001
(view as PDF)
We simply save lives...
Jerusalem, November 2001
"All AID WITHOUT BORDERS projects are designed to have the greatest
impact in the long-term, and they are developed in close coordination
with local community authorities."
( from the organization principals )
Siyua Lelo Gvulot - AID WITHOUT BORDERS (AWB), is a volunteer experts
force, the first of its kind in Israel, dedicated for a long-term
developmental humanitarian projects based on local professional
capacity building in areas of conflict and crisis worldwide.
One of our main achievements thus far is standing firm on our
commitment to keep a long-term presence in each country or region we
enter. AWB was active in the Balkans for 18 months during and
after the Kosovo refugee crisis. AWB has just begun the third
year of continued presence in Angola.
AWB is a registered association and a non-profit organization,
established in Israel, May 1998.
To date, AWB has sent 31 fully sponsored volunteers and experts who
spent a total of
70 months in the field (Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Angola,
training and sharing knowledge with local professionals,
saving and improving thousands of lives, especially those of children.
AWB Supporters, Donors and Sponsors
Our means of support and finance come from different sources, including
some private donors and companies in Israel:
• In Macedonia, we worked with
KINDERBERG, a German NGO.
• In Albania we have been
cooperating with AJJDC and received support of the Austrian government,
through HOPE 87.
• In Kosova, in addition to HOPE
87, The Rich Foundation, Switzerland, supported part of our Mines
Awareness and Psycho-Social projects.
• In Mozambique, we were
supported by UNICEF.
• In Angola, we are supported by
the Government of Israel and UNICEF.
AWB cooperated and worked closely with other NGOs and UN agencies
CAM, COOPERAZIONE ITALIANA, DFID, IOM, IRC, MAG, MSF-France, TPO,
UNHCR, UNICEF, UNMACC, WHO
Other major contributors and sponsors from Israel (1999-2001)
Bezeq International, Cellcom, ElAd Ma’Arachot, Maariv, Menora
& Shacham Insurance,
Motorola Israel, Netvision, Telemeser
AWB in ANGOLA 1999-2002
AWB has sent seven volunteers to work as consultants with the UNICEF
Mines Awareness Program in Angola. By late September 1999,with the
support of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Shahaf Alexander, was the
first AWB volunteer youth trainer to be sent to Angola1999.
In June 2000, he was followed by two additional AWB volunteer youth
trainers, Rachel Dassa and Yahav Dory. Dory, stayed in Angola
for a full year. Recently, UNICEF has requested four
additional AWB volunteers for its Mines Awareness Program. In early
October 2001, Eran Galor, Nir Izhaki, Shani Silverman and Assaf Israel,
were sent for a full one year mission in Angola.
AWB in MOZAMBIQUE 2000
In mid-March 2000, after completing six months work in Angola, AWB
volunteer Field Coordinator, Shahaf Alexander, started a full month
mission in flood stricken Mozambique. He represented UNICEF
in the four member JLOC (Joint Logistics Operation Center), which
coordinated all the emergency relief flights of all UN agencies and
international NGOs, relief of the suffering of the flood
AWB continues to follow and monitor the progress in the field and we
are still seeking the way to send more volunteers and experts to
AWB in the BALKANS 1999 - 2000
AWB was active in the Balkans (Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo/Kosova)
April 1999 to October 2000. AWB sent 24 volunteer experts,
for a period of one to 12 months each:
5 pediatricians (Macedonia, Albania, Kosova) / 4 pediatric nurses
(Macedonia, Albania, Kosova) / 2 public health nurses (Albania) / 2
paramedics (Albania, Kosova) / 1 medical student (Kosova) / 5 youth
instructors (Albania, Kosova) / 3 psychological expert (Kosova) / 1
psychiatrist (Kosova) / 1 AWB Director (Albania, Macedonia,
(refer to: Breakdown of AWB experts and volunteers in the field
1999-2001 - page 6)
AWB in KOSOVA (July 1999 – October 2000)
- AWB has supported (October 1999 to April 2000) American psychiatrist,
Dr. Mindy Prager, working to rebuild the psychiatric department in the
Pristina University Hospital. Two AWB psychologists joined
her in training, Rakefet Sella, during the spring of 2000 and Dr. Moshe
Landsman, during the 2000 winter. Dr. Landsman, presented to
WHO a draft proposal, 'Building Child Mental Health in Kosova': a basic
program, featuring a detailed plan for the training of local
professional staff, for enabling them to eventually deliver child and
adolescent mental health services throughout the province.
[ 10 full-time & 2 part-time psychiatrists ]
Mines Awareness training
- Three AWB volunteer youth trainers participated in different phases
of the UNICEF/UNMACC Mines Awareness Program in Kosova: 2 AWB
youth trainers, Inbal Cohen and Edva Alfasi, took part in training 10
local trainers for MAG (August-September 1999) / 2 AWB youth trainers,
Inbal Cohen and Hamutal Eitam, carried out a training course for 15
local trainers from different NGOs and UN agencies,
including: Rise Phoenix, Mines Awareness Trust (MAT),
Children's Aid Direct, ADRA, Islamic Relief, UNICEF and UNMACC (October
1999) / AWB youth trainer, Hamutal Eitam, gave a full month of
monitoring and evaluation to all new trainers (November 1999)
[ first 25 local Mines Awareness trainers ]
Youth guides training
- AWB volunteer youth guide, Adi Hason, trained local youth guides
(mid-November 1999 to mid-January 2000) working with Serbian-Albanian
refugee children in an IRC run shelter in Gnjilane and helped supply
them with winter clothing
[ about 100 kids & 3 local youth guides ]
- AWB volunteer nurse, Vered Kater, completed a full month training to
all nurses, nurse-students and some other medical staff in the Peje
Hospital, runs by COOPERAZIONE ITALIANA (August 1999)
[ 52 nurses & 45 student nurses ]
Psycho-Social intervention training
- AWB volunteer psychological expert, Dr. Nitsa Kalish, initiated a
program to aid children suffering from psychological trauma, in schools
around Peje, in cooperation with UNICEF and MSF-France
[ 5 schools & about 2,500 kids, 80 teachers, 11 pedagogues, 3
AWB in ALBANIA (April-August 1999)
Medical clinics and Medical professional training - During the Kosovo
refugee crisis, AWB and AJJDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee) jointly established and operated four medical clinics in the
city of Elbasan and a fifth in the city of Librazhd, in southern
Albania. In each clinic, foreign doctors and nurses worked
side-by-side with Kosovar doctors and nurses, sharing experience and
giving one-on-one tutoring and much needed training. The
number of Kosovar medical personnel participating was made
of: four physicians, seven nurses, two pharmacists and one
[ 14 Kosovar trainees ]
Foreign volunteer staff: three AWB physicians, all
pediatricians; two JDC physicians, Dr. Rick Hodes, the medical manager
of the project, and Dr. Lynn Amowitz; four AWB nurses and one JDC
nurse. This staff rotated in organized shifts, every
[ 10 foreign volunteers ]
In all the five clinics, total of about 6,500 Kosovar refugees
& their Albanian
host-family members were seen (late April to mid-July 1999).
AWB side programs in Elbasan, Albania - (April-August 1999)
Extra-care program: from June 10th, the home visit program
was established, to care for patients who were unable to come to the
clinics due to lack of awareness and mobility. Two Kosovar
nurses collected the information about the patients who needed
extra-care treatment at home, such as: pregnant women, the elderly,
handicapped, deaf, blind and the mentally retarded.
From June 15th, the foreign doctors and nurses started the home
visits. AWB arranged for two patients with terminal illness
to have hospice care in a special house in Korca, southern Albania,
that provided pain management, consulting and proper
[ about 100 patients were visited ]
Medical training sessions: from June 2nd, daily training
sessions were started, including information about cases or diseases
that were present in the clinics. Dr. Rick Hodes and the two
AWB Israeli pediatricians, Dr. Sara Benni and Dr. Marina Shteinfeld,
led these sessions with open discussions together with the
refugee Kosovar doctors. This was a way to improve the skills
of the local doctors and to open a dialogue between all the doctors
working together. A similar program was attempted to upgrade
the nursing skills of the refugee Kosovar nurses. The two AWB
Israeli nurses, Miriam Sverdlov and Yaffa Dolberg, led these
[ 4 Kosovar doctors, 7 nurses & 2 pharmacists participated ]
Repatriation: on June 29th, UNHCR began an organized
repatriation of refugees from Albania. AWB-JDC role in this
plan was to identify, together with other NGOs, vulnerable cases that
needed extra care during the transport in the train and
buses. In each convoy we had one doctor and a nurse that
escorted these patients in a special wagon or bus. Eight
trains and buses convoys left Elbasan during this operation.
[ about 15,000 refugees repatriated ]
The AWB-JDC team led by, JDC Dr. Lynn Amowitz and AWB Dr. Sara Benni,
received special compliments by the UNHCR representative in the closing
meeting of the operation.
Youth education: by mid-June, an AWB Israeli youth educator,
Shlomit Yifat, started a youth-leaders program in the JDC camp and the
Kolping Family camp. She formed a group of young people from
amongst the inhabitants of the camp and begun to work with them on
children's activity plan. That activity, with two age groups,
was a part of other education programs in the camp, such as English
lessons and music therapy meetings.
[ 7 youth-leaders & about 60 kids participated ]
Public health education: by early-July, JDC nurse, Sheila
Callaghan, initiated a program, promoting basics of public health to:
nurses, refugee children and the general public. Two AWB
Israeli nurses, Lynette Osman-Fishler and Varda Kalwary, continued with
this program during August:
- JDC camp: mothers and young females received weekly
sessions about general hygiene issues such as: dental care, hand
washing, safety issues in the camp, dehydration prevention, women
issues, etc. The same was done with the camp
[ about 30 refugee females & 20 refugee children participated
- Hospital: different nurses groups were met several times a
week. The AWB nurses shared their experiences as an ICU
nurses, clinical instructors, and volunteers. Each time
different issues were discussed.
[ about 50 nurses participated ]
- Nursing school: it is run by Italian nuns and it is very
efficient. Work was done with the nursing students in their
wound clinic three times a week.
[ 15 student nurses participated ]
- Health-promotion commercials: the first commercials were
filmed with the local television station and were scheduled to be aired
on the radio. Commercial topics to include: heart
disease prevention, litter management, gun safety, smoking hazards,
nutrition, crime prevention, sexually transmitted diseases.
[ 3 commercials were aired for a full month, 2 times a day ]
AWB in MACEDONIA (mid April - mid June 1999)
In association with the KINDERBERG Fund, Germany, two AWB medical teams
(made up of pediatricians, from the best experts in Israel, and very
experienced ICU nurses) worked in rural clinics around Tetovo
(north-eastern Macedonia). Each day, they were covering
several border-villages at a time and also operated in a small clinic
in Tetovo itself.
The border-village operation was established (mid-April) by the
first-ever AWB medical team, pediatrician Dr. Zalman Wientroub,
pediatrician Dr. Avi Rotschild and ICU nurse Osnat Jacob.
They were replaced (early June) by an all female team (pediatrician Dr.
Sara Benni, pediatrician Dr. Marina Shteinfeld, ICU nurses Miriam
Sverdlov and Yaffa Dolberg), who crossed over to Albania, a day after
NATO forces entered Kosova (June 14).
[ over 8,000 refugees and Macedonian host-family members went through
these clinics ]
The AWB medical teams were the only foreign experts teams in the
region, giving guidance and sharing their experience with local
Macedonian doctors, nurses and medical refugee personnel from Kosova.
Meira Aboulafia & Erez T Yanuv Barzilay
Jerusalem, November 2001
report in the Balkans 1999