MEMBERS of an Aberdeen Christian charity have returned to the city after the organisation’s latest “humbling” mission to a refugee camp in Montenegro.
A group of 25 people from Aberdeen’s King’s Community Foundation travelled to the country to aid and assist refugees who were displaced during the Balkan War in the 1990s, and who now live in makeshift camps on the outskirts of the Montenegrin town of Berane.
During the trip, the team undertook a range of tasks to enhance the health, general wellbeing and horrendous living conditions of the refugees, who reside in various accommodation units, ranging from wooden chalets through to steel container units, with meagre support from any governmental or humanitarian organisations.
As well as freshening up an on-site toilet and shower block with new paint, the group renovated an old shed at the camp into a church building – the first of its kind in Berane and only the fourth in the whole of Montenegro.
As part of the mission, the foundation distributed food parcels – to around 130 families – and clothes, which had been donated to the organisation by members of the North-east community.
During the visit, members of the group also carried out a children’s club for kids at the camp.
The club gave the youngsters – aged between three and 12 – the chance to get involved in a host of fun activities, including creating Easter craft cards, colouring games and Bible story telling.
With local GP, Dr Iain Duthie, leading the mission along with Pastor Barry Douglas, the group was able to carry out health checks on the refugees and one individual, in particular, touched the volunteers.
When members of the team visited 80 year-old Miso – who, two weeks earlier, had fallen more than 100 meters down a hill – it was clear that he was suffering from a fractured collarbone.
However, the group discovered that when he visited the local hospital in Berane for help, Miso was advised that he was “too dirty” to even be seen and assessed.
Dr Duthie was able to assess and diagnose the injury on-site and provide immediate pain relief and support for Miso’s broken bone.
Mr Douglas hailed the mission a major success: “This latest mission trip to Montenegro proved to be another extremely moving and humbling experience.
“On our arrival at the camp, we were privileged to receive a tremendous welcome from the refugees, with all of our team commenting on the incredible warmth of the people towards us.
“Despite existing in a place of nothingness, the refugees were willing – and indeed eager – to share their homes, food and, ultimately, their hearts with us.
“Our whole group did the King’s Community Foundation, and indeed the wider Aberdeen community, extremely proud, through rolling up their sleeves and putting their hearts and souls into each and every task they were involved in.”
The King’s Community Foundation made a five year commitment to support the Montenegrin refugees after being approached by Convoy of Hope, an organisation which provides disaster relief, supply lines and outreaches to the poor and disaster-stricken areas of the world.
For further information on the King’s Community Foundation’s mission work or to make a donation, please contact Barry on 07800 984 850 or via email@example.com or visit www.kingscommunitychurch.org
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