What they didn’t tell me was worse

April 23, 2015

Udo Stolte visited Kurdistan to get a picture of the situation of the refugees.


“Our mother is dead and our father is with the Peshmerga, fighting against the terrorists,” replied the young girl when I enquired about her family. Her sister added that only two of their brothers were still with them. The two sisters could hardly hold back their tears as they spoke.


I met these sisters in the Kurdish town of Rania while talking to a number of refugees. It will be hard to ever forget this meeting. It is not so much what they told me but what they didn’t speak about that concerned me most. There were matters I could only read between the lines and see in their eyes...



How can we help?

I visited official refugee camps. They are particularly well organized. The large organizations are doing a good job. We don’t need to get involved at that level. On the other hand, we came across small unofficial camps, which receive no assistance from organizations, nothing from the UN – either because the refugees are unwilling or unable to move to the larger camps. One small camp is run by friends of John. They regularly distribute food, spend time with the refugees, play and sing with the children. They are Yezidis. They refuse to go to larger camps because they are afraid of reprisals. Our friends do not have sufficient resources to completely cover their needs. We mostly came across women and children. The men go to the town to find work as day laborers, in order to help provide for their families. It is already quite warm in this camp and their limited food supplies quickly rot. In summer it gets really hot. So we decided to purchase refrigerators and fill them with food. We can provide the necessary funding for this and they are responsible for the electricity...

Later this year...

I would like to return to Kurdistan to see how our new projects are progressing and to make further plans. Our goal is to bring hope to those in despair. We cannot just remain passive onlookers. We have to act. Those who would like to help are requested to send donations to:

Shelter Now Germany e.V.

Bank: Nord/LB Hannover

IBAN: DE65 2505 0000 0002 5230 58


Intended use: Kurdistan




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