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Inside Libya’s Borders

Posted by Naomi Schalm on April 22nd, 2011

Hal Jones, President of GHNI, just came back from spending several days in war-torn Libya last week. He writes about a young man he met at a hospital:

“He stands next to the ward holding many of his comrades too wounded to move to Europe for the needed care, and too wounded to live.  He has a dead-pan face and has what we call the “100 mile stare”. It’s clear he suffers from combat fatigue. He is 23 but looks 19. He has been sent back from the front, where he saw atrocities that no young person should have to see, but which generations of young men around the world face when thrust into the meat grinder of war. He tells me that he has been re-assigned to guard the hospital 12 hours per day. I sense he was also sent back from the front due to shock from sleeping in the freezing cold desert at night, ducking bullets in the day, wondering constantly if “his time will come today,” and trying to show bravery in the horror of seeing his friends’ limbs and heads blown off or burned unbelievably.

This is just one of the young men I met in the hospital ward, yet in many ways he represents them all.”

Help for the Libyan People

Hal went in with three colleagues, all humanitarians, with more than 10 tons of food and medicines to distribute to victims of the civil war in Libya. GHNI is partnering with 20 non-profit groups to bring critical needs and hope to the people of Libya. This partnership is to coordinate relief efforts for a stronger impact and to prevent over-lap in aid.

The assessment team traveled 18 hours from Cairo to Benghazi. Once there, they discovered that only a few other aid organizations had been there to assess the needs of the people. The streets were quiet and safe, the rural areas strangely so.  Being only 150 kilometers from the front lines took a little edge off the sense of peace in the city.  People were so happy about the humanitarian help that taxi drivers actually gave the team free rides, and a restaurant even gave them free meals! Hal shares,

“So few non-Libyans were there that we stuck out.  Every place we walked people shouted, “Shukran,” which means “thank you” in Arabic. The fact that we had brought in desperately needed medical supplies traveled fast.  Soon we were ushered into the meeting room of some of the National Transition Council leaders who thanked us. The leaders, along with several other groups familiar with the situation, reported that they desperately need medicine (especially burn medicine), and medical personnel (especially surgeon specialists and nurses).”

The medical supplies the team brought in went straight to the main hospital in Bengazi, where it was assured that the meds would go free to all who were impacted by the fighting, regardless of race, tribe, sex or political status. The packages of food were delivered to internally displaced people.

The sad reality is these supplies will not last long. The fighting continues and the hospitals are overwhelmed.

Hal comments, “I believe this is one of the most crucial times in the history of Libya and North Africa and I unashamedly ask for your kind support!

GHNI is committed to not forget the hurting and hidden people of Libya. We are not taking a political stand. We seek to serve all the people there.

We already have a representative on the ground and the greatest need is for large quantities of medicines, especially surgical supplies and burn medicines.

If you can help or connect us to a possible supplier, please contact info.ch@ghni.org.

We want to send out our first shipment by mid May.

We need 25,000 USD to pay for the collecting, shipping and clearing of up to 3 containers of meds.

We need 25,000 USD to pay for specialists and consultants to travel to Libya and be hosted by the National Transition Council.

The kinds of volunteers needed:

  1. surgeon specialists
  2. male and female nurses
  3. consultant on building a disaster response program within the government
  4. consultant on building a police force
  5. consultant on creating a utilities coordinating office in the municipality

If you qualify, please send your resume to info.ch@ghni.org.

We believe by helping now, the door will remain open for long term community-based transformational development.

Thanks for considering this important matter. Time is very critical. You can give by clicking here:

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.