In the last three months we worked tirelessly to prepare for this journey. Endless meetings, emails, phone calls, talks, logistical issues, confusion, leads and dead ends were just how our days were. It was the first step to realize what was just an idea of how to continue supporting Rojava in these difficult times of war and occupation that came just after we left a few months ago.
Besides the complicated and often frustrating logistics and planning to get ourselves and a decent amount of combat, medical supplies to Rojava, there was the financial aspect of what was needed to realize getting this project off the ground. The aim was to raise enough donations to be able to support the local struggle in person. We are doing this through a combination of professional medical support as well as by sharing interesting stories and photographs of things happening here. Some funds were raised through direct donations from those to whom we laid out our ideas. Also, a good deal of the money was raised through a collaboration between us and a music event that took place in about 30 cities in the United States and one in Europe at the end of last November all in one night under the name of Musicians‘ Day of international Solidarity [with Rojava].
Why is this so important? Since the military invasion of Rojava by Turkey and the Islamic extremist, jihadist forces it has assembled, armed, trained, and funds on october 9th, 2019 there has been an ongoing war of fluctating intensity and a brutal military occupation. Hundreds have died defended and civilians have been injured, many of them died. Treating those severely injured at the frontlines of this war has become more difficult than before: ambulances and vehicles picking up the wounded and dead became a target for Turkish artillery and armed drones and the routes to the hospitals were often not usable. Very often the rescue operations have to be carried out at night. The only chance an injured person has is to be stabilized at the place of the attack and transported under intensive medical care to the closest facility. Sometimes this takes a long time. Therefore good medical equipment is needed: tourniquets, chest seals, combat gauzes and bandages, and anti-haemorrhaegic agents are essential and regularly save lives. But these items are not available or very hard to get in Rojava. Without them, the medics in the field are unable to provide such aid. Having these supplies on hand is essential.
For many logistical reasons it was not easy to get everything here, but we managed and a few days ago the first round of medical supplies were handed over to skilled combat medics that have been working nonstop since the first days of the invasion. Two oversized suitcases were brought through four countries by hand to make it to their destination. When it comes to Rojava, nothing is easy- especially something like this. But some things just need done.
Getting back here we met with old friends and have made new ones; continue to make contacts here and with those willing to help from our home countries; and will soon start documenting the ongoing humanitarian crisis, it‘s impact on the revolutionary struggle and daily life in society after the invasion; as well as medical aspects of the war, it‘s aftermath, and ongoing health projects.
An enormous thank you to everyone who believed in us and trusted us to make it this far. More to come!