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We simply save lives

AWB Activity Report - 2001

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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, Mozambique),
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 (1999-2001): 

Other major contributors and sponsors from Israel (1999-2001) included: 
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. 


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 victims. 

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 Mozambique.

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, Kosovo)  
(refer to: Breakdown of AWB experts and volunteers in the field 1999-2001 - page 6)

AWB in KOSOVA (July 1999 – October 2000)

Psychiatric training 
- 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 ] 
Medical training 
- 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 (September-October 1999) 
[ 5 schools & about 2,500 kids, 80 teachers, 11 pedagogues, 3 supervisors ] 

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 logistical assistant. 
[ 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 month. 
[ 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 treatment. 
[ 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 sessions. 
[ 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 children. 
[ 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

AWB's activity report in the Balkans 1999