2020-21 Impact Report: Humanity Auxilium is having a large impact as a small organization
Learn more about the impact Humanity Auxilium is having right now.
I would love to have the opportunity to talk about Humanity Auxilium and all of our current projects — in the last year we’ve been able to launch seven important and beneficial projects, which have helped tens of thousands of refugees, displaced people, and marginalized communities around the world. We have been working hard to spread our mission and goal to provide impactful medical relief and training to benefit marginalized communities around the world. Currently, we have several projects running in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh along with other relief support to those in need in Turkey, Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
I would like to highlight that our organization seldom uses grants or government funding; it’s mostly done through donations from our volunteer physicians and personal donations from friends, family, and community members. Our team is made up of very dedicated volunteers and this work would be impossible without their help and support. There are hundreds of volunteer hours that our team is putting in, and I can’t thank all of our volunteers enough. They make me so proud and help restore my faith in humanity every day. It is through this special and unique community that we’ve built, that shapes what Humanity Auxilium is today. Our organization is small, but we work hard every day to punch above our weight and help as many people as we possibly can.
In the last year, I’ve seen Humanity Auxilium grow exponentially, with the help of volunteers and now our first employee who has been with us since September. We’ve been able to accomplish so much through the support and kindness of others. In the last few months, we’ve been able to launch several new projects addressing the specific needs of refugees, including our COVID-19 Outreach Project which has provided medical assessments to tens of thousands of Rohingya who were reluctant to seek medical attention during the pandemic. I am so amazed and excited to share what we’ve been able to accomplish from the beginning of last year to today.
-Dr. Fozia Alvi, Humanity Auxilium Founder
Here is a breakdown of some of our current and recent projects:
At the beginning of 2020, Humanity Auxilium planned a medical mission to Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, but those plans were immediately put on hold with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Although we couldn’t travel to the camps, we knew that we had to step up somehow and support refugees who were vulnerable and at risk of being completely devastated by the virus — due to a lack of information, medical infrastructure, sanitation supplies, clean drinking water, and the fact that social distancing is nearly impossible because of the population density within the camps.
At first, Humanity Auxilium explored the idea of building an isolation centre. But it quickly became clear that this project wouldn’t be very effective. The Rohingya, one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, feared further oppression if diagnosed as infected by COVID-19. As a result, few came forward for testing when they had symptoms. Humanity Auxilium worked closely with Bora Tümer, head of the Turkish Red Crescent delegation in Bangladesh, one of the few NGOs still on the ground in Rohingya camps providing humanitarian aid to the refugees. Tümer realized reluctant refugees would have to be visited in the privacy of their shelters and provided with support, such as medical supplies and education about the virus, informing them of the need to isolate if they had COVID-19 symptoms.
That’s when we realized that the best way to support refugees would be through a door-to-door outreach project; with the goal of informing refugees to help mitigate the spread and give them the proper tools and assessments to keep them safe. This project would also aim to ease tensions between the refugees and medical workers and rebuild trust. Throughout the year, it was proven that the Outreach Teams were successful in reaching out to reluctant refugees.
As of April 30, 2021, our Outreach Teams have visited and screened nearly 60,000 households in the camps. They’ve also been able to provide medical services to over 26,432 Rohingya who were in need of medical attention; many of whom were suspected of having COVID-19. Outreach Teams were also able to convince around 9,289 Rohingya to visit health facilities for further assessments and treatment. Our teams were able to follow up with around 9,515 patients in their homes and eventually have been able to discharge roughly 7,498 of those who seem to have recovered — as it’s become visible that their health has been improved.
In total, we’ve been able to help over 26,432 Rohingya refugees during this difficult time in their lives. Many of these refugees would not have sought medical attention if our teams didn’t reach out to them. In addition, our teams have also hosted over 3,328 crucial information sessions to roughly 22,043 refugees — an important piece of helping refugees understand the virus and how it spreads.
2. Rohingya Fire Relief
On March 22nd, a massive fire swept through the Rohingya refugee camps — the largest fire in the camps to date. Around 92,000 individuals were impacted by this incident. Authorities are reporting an estimated 45,000 people across three camps were directly affected and temporarily displaced. Approximately 10,000 shelters were partially or fully damaged and one local field hospital was burned to ashes.
Our hearts broke when we heard this news. These refugees have been so much since fleeing Myanmar in 2017 and not only have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but now thousands are being further displaced after losing their homes and personal belongings. At Humanity Auxilium, we knew we had to step up and support these refugees in any way we could. We quickly dispersed funds to our local partners and they immediately went to work supporting those who had been affected by this tragic event.
In the first 48 hours, our teams provided medical support to 2,878 Rohingya. They also were able to provide supplies to those who were displaced and in need; teams gave cooked meals to 2,170 refugees and distributed 600 hygiene kits, 600 dress packs, and 200 floor mats.
After 10 days following the fire, our teams had given medical support to 22,342 refugees who needed attention — many with burn injuries or injuries from trying to escape the fires. Mobile teams were able to support 18,629 Rohingya while a nearby health post supported an additional 3,713 people. Teams also provided cooked meals to 34,465 hungry Rohingya and distributed 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 dress packs, 2,000 floor mats and 21,070 medical support kits. An additional 62,301 hot meal packs were also given to displaced and affected refugees.
This tragic event tested how quickly we were able to respond to a fast and ever-changing situation that we weren’t prepared for. But, through our generous donors, we were able to support so many people who immediately needed help. We are so grateful to our partners on the ground who quickly mobilized and effectively helped tens of thousands who were desperately in need.
3. Uyghurs Relief:
Right now, there are 40,000 Uyghurs living in Turkey in exile. Most of them are young children and women as many Uyghur men went back to China to sell their properties or resign from their jobs; now, they are either in concentration camps or have been killed — unfortunately, we don’t know.
During the last two Ramadans, Humanity Auxilium has provided nutritional food baskets to 450 families with the help of our local partners. We also started distributing hygiene kits and nutritional food baskets with the aim to target 635 Uyghurs families. But, our local partner has faced some challenges. We don’t know all of the details of these challenges right now, but hopefully, we can finish the project soon. These efforts are ongoing, but with so many people living in exile, there is a major need to support these people.
4. Yemen Relief:
In Yemen, 29 million people are dying due to hunger right in front of our eyes. Yemen has been grappling with a major famine for a few years now. A majority of those in Yemen do not know where their next meal will come from. Humanity Auxilium is doing what we can within our capacity to stand in solidarity with the people of Yemen.
Humanity Auxilium has distributed food rations to 230 families last Ramadan and we are working with our partners this year and will send funds in the near future. There is still so much work left to be done to support those starving in Yemen as we’ve barely scratched the surface. Our hope is to continue implementing more projects in the future, which will further support those in Yemen and possibly help deal with the issue of food insecurity.
The pandemic has added to worsening conditions in Rohingya camps in other ways and has brought other needs to our attention. At Humanity Auxilium, we became concerned about the impact on refugee women, many of whom are pregnant — and are afraid to seek medical attention or go to a birthing facility. Many Rohingya women are also victims of displacement, violence, trauma, and, at times, rape. There was a growing concern about these women being stuck in their shelters with their abusers. More than 26,000 Rohingya babies are born every year in refugee camps and informal settlements in Cox’s Bazar.
It became clear that expectant mothers needed additional help, so Humanity Auxilium launched another project, mobilizing teams to inform refugees of their rights and options, such as birth control, along with nutritional and mental health support. This program aims to support a significant number of expecting Rohingya mothers to visit health care facilities before and after giving birth. As well, our partners and teams in the camps will mobilize to inform refugees of their rights and options, including their right to avoid or delay pregnancy, along with providing nutritional and crucial mental health support during this process.
Our hope is to support a few hundred refugee women over the next few months and then expand this project over time. It has been a goal of Humanity Auxilium to support the specific health needs of refugee women and girls for some time now. Our hope is that through additional support and funding, we can increase the reach and impact of this project.
This project is very close to our heart as we hold a lot of weight in both health and education. Initially, this project was initially intended only for orphan’s health, but when we did our needs assessment, we found out that our local partner’s (READ Foundation) schools — where we are going to implement this project — are mostly in remote rule areas in Pakistan, where all children do not have the opportunity to receive medical check-ups and care.
That’s why we decided to do it for all children to increase the access to healthcare for those in remote areas, where healthcare is limited. Our latest initiative, Humanity Auxilium Teaching Centre of Health (HATCH) is designed to support the health needs of students and orphans in several ways. Through volunteers, we are creating training modules for teachers to help them identify and assess medical needs, including how to perform first aid. As well, this project will build and supply a sick room in schools, along with staffing them with medical professionals and volunteers to provide medical assessments to students — as many of them have never received a proper health checkup in their lifetime.
Our first HATCH is going to be in Kashmir, Pakistan. We are envisioning this initiative to be replicated in different countries. We are investing in children’s health — this will have a huge impact on creating a more healthy and balanced society in the future. We strongly believe that investing in the health of students will lead to a healthier and stronger future.
Moving forward: Making the world a better place
As you can see, Humanity Auxilium has been successful in implementing projects around the world to serve the specific needs of marginalized communities. It’s been overwhelming, but gratifying to see our organization grow so much in the last year. At times, it’s been difficult to think about all of the people who are in need that we cannot help, but we strongly believe that we must do everything in our power to change the world one person, one step, and one action at a time. We envision a world with health care equalities for the world’s most marginalized people and that’s exactly what we are working towards each and every day.
With your help and support, we want to continue our work and expand our reach in order to achieve a much larger global impact. We hope you will join us during this important time of our growth as we strive to make the world a better place for all. Our hope is that in a post-COVID world, we can all come together and find solutions through our shared HUMANITY.