Who we are
Orienthelfer e.V. (Helpers for the Orient) is a non-governmental , non-profit , charitable organization founded in 2012 by Christian “Fonsi” Springer, a well-known German cabaret-artist in Munich. Its aim is to provide humanitarian help for victims of the conflict in Syria. More than one million destitute Syrian have sought refuge in Lebanon up to now. Million others have flooded into Turkey , Jordan and Iraq.
Orienthelfer’s highest priority is to offer sustained and lasting support , to help people help themselves, to offer direct and fast help. We can guarantee that all donations are directly used for the people badly in need. All members of Orienthelfer are volunteers.
“Every day we pray to God to send us an earthquake, then the world would help us. But we’re just caught in a war,” a Syrian woman says in 2013.
Two and a half years into the war, seven million out of Syria’s twenty million inhabitants have fled their homes, among them one and a half million children.
Most of these people have been completely cut off from regular provision of basic food and healthcare, education, social networks and humane living conditions.
In 2013 the UN announce that they can only ensure 25% of the necessary assistance needed for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
“One year ago we were faced with a humanitarian catastrophe . The situation we have to deal with right now is beyond any human imagination. There are simply no words to describe the situation,” a Syrian refugee says.
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Members of Orienthelfer e.V. are regularly on-site in several countries to help Syrian refugees: at the moment we are in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Turkey and Syria. Due to trustful local intermediaries we can guarantee continuous assistance and aid. Orienthelfer e.V. offer direct financial support in emergencies, finance surgeries and emergency transports as well as apprenticeship training positions for Syrian girls.
A house for the “Tripoli-women”
In March 2013 Bushra, a Syrian woman, registered her name in a list in Lebanon. Officially she was the 1.000.000st refugee in Lebanon. In the meantime Lebanon, with its four million inhabitants is faced with 1.2 million Syrian refugees. Bushra has got two daughters, her husband is dead. The clothes she is wearing is everything that is left of her property. Bushra is only one of thousands of young Syrian women who do not know how to survive the next day. They have lost their husbands and there are no financial resources. They cannot afford any milk, education of accommodation. The most basic things are out of reach for the refugees. Orienthelfer e.V. plan to rent a house in Tripoli to offer accommodation to poverty-stricken Syrian women and their children.
Milk for children – a Project of “Sternstunden“
Babies and toddlers need milk on a daily basis, but most Syrian refugee families cannot afford to buy food in grocery shops or supermarkets. They depend on donations. The campaign “Sternstunden e.V. guarantees Orienthelfer e.V. the monthly financial resources to buy dairy products for one year. Since 2012 we have been able to hand out dairy products to Syrian families and over 700 Syrian children in Tripoli/Lebanon have been provided with milk. It is very important for destitute refugees that they can count on regular supply of food for one year. The Lebanese NGO Dschamaiiat Bascha’ir organizes a fair distribution to the local families.
Childhood disease – thalassamy
Thalassamy is a genetic disease of the red blood cells. Many Syrian refugee children suffer from this disease. Without medical treatment, children risk to be struck by dwarfism, hepatic disease, cardiac insufficiencies, loss of hair, attentiveness disorder etc. Medical treatment includes regular blood transfusions and detoxification of ferrous surplus in the body. Diagnoses and treatment are expensive and take a long time. Syrian refugees are poor and cannot afford treatment for their children. Orienthelfer e.V. together with Bild hilft (a campaign by the German daily paper Bildzeitung) finance free treatment of diseased children in Lebanon. Costs include the price of medicine and medical equipment as well as the purchase of refrigerators to store medicine. The doctors work voluntarily without pay.
Books for Syrian schoolchildren
Children have to read and they want to. But there is no place for books when people have to flee their home. In the meantime more than one hundred thousand Syrian children are deprived of schools, libraries and lessons. The project “Books for Syria” , certificated by UNESCO, supports Syrian-Arab writers, photographers and illustrators writing books especially for young Syrian refugee of different age groups. Orienthelfer e.V. help to finance the print and distribution of the those educationally valuable books (printed in two languages, Arab and English) in Lebanon. The first two volumes “Far from home” and “Him and I” have already been distributed to Syrian children in refugee camps since 2013 (we started with 6.000 copies).
According to official numbers of the United Nations there are about 1.5 million Syrian children who have fled their homes. They are uprooted, without any belongings and traumatized by what they have experienced and gone through. They are often separated from their parents and brothers and sisters, or their family members are missed or dead. A cuddly toy can offer at least some comfort in everyday life. In the refugee camps children live crammed together. Everything must be shared. A cuddly toy is the only belonging. Orienthelfer e.V. bring cuddly toys to Syria and Lebanon. Our priority during the distribution: Each child will get one cuddly toy. Orienthelfer e.V. regularly announce the collecting point on the internet (the cuddly toys must be cleaned and they should not be stuffed with electronic devices.
The situation at Syrian universities is devastating. Universities are being bombed and many are transformed into military camps. In the remaining facilities thousands of students suffer from political observation and surveillance or they are being persecuted and thus forced to flee their homes. A large majority of well-educated and well-trained Syrians see no future in their home country. Studies abroad are too expensive. Future doctors, lawyers, computer specialists , teachers and economists are waiting in refugee camps without having finished their studies. Orienthelfer e.V. finance studies for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Yemen and Egypt so that they can finish their university education. The students’ certificates prove their enormous diligence and motivation as well as their courage to face life and therefore the great importance of this project.