by Anthony Gadenne, DRG Team Leader
The Rohingya Crisis continues to grow even though official reports say there are no more people coming over the border. Every day we see more people arrive as they walk past the training area carrying the Start-Up Packs they are given upon arrival and registration, consisting of a tarp, a blanket and some meager rations.
I am immensely proud to say that we started the next phase of the training, which is the RVAN Train the Trainer program. This is the way we can continually increase that ripple effect I spoke of in my last post.
Yesterday I oversaw our RVAN Team Leaders training a new 5 man stretcher team. Today, they gifted the new trainees with their official BPM shirts. They were so proud to wear them and it helped to intensify the morning’s training. For some reason, whilst training, we had a huge influx of people coming to us today, in particular sick children, and thus our RVAN Crew and even the trainees, had some hands-on real life practice.
The good news today is that we have found a French rescue crew that plans to do similar work to us in the area. This means we can handover to them on Friday, and leave feeling confident that the care will continue after we have gone. We are eager to watch and see how it develops.
In October, Team 2 saw a young girl by the name of Ajida with a serious injury from a bullet wound. The wound had healed incorrectly, fusing her underarm to her chest and she was living with pain every day – worst at night. Team 3 came across Ajida this trip, and over the last couple of weeks, we have managed to get her looked at and we organised for her to have an operation to fix the injury. She’s out of hospital this week and looking much happier. Ajida lost her parents but is living with her grandparents now – we can’t do anything about her terrible loss, but at least she can now live more comfortably. Which is good, because she has a beautiful smile, and everyone around her needs to see it more.
I find it hard to not be emotionally affected by all the painful stories, but as Team Leader I have to keep an operations focus and remember that this is not about us or how we feel. It’s about every possible practical thing that we can do to help before we have to leave. The need is great. The world moves on quickly to other things, but the Rohingya population in the camps continues to grow and so too does the suffering.