24 Jun 2020 | Mission East

Statement from Mission East

Over the past week there have been stories in the press about Mission East. Here is a short clarification of the situation.

Mission East has received public grants from Germany since 2003. Over the years, these grants have risen steadily and have enabled us to help even more vulnerable people especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan and North Korea.

Myanmar: Utilization of the forest's pantry

BRIEF NEWS: As something new, Mission East's partners are now engaging in exploiting Myanmar's forests in ways other than logging for timber.

They inspire the local population to pick fruits and nuts, grow vegetables, catch fish and game, find medicinal plants and extract resin and fiber from bamboo and other grasses. The efforts are part of the sustainable use of their environment to increase their food security and nutrition. The local partners have also participated in several courses to ensure that sustainable agriculture projects reach their goals.

9 Jun 2020 | Mission East

Mission East's COVID-19 response

Here's an overview of our extensive Corona response: How are we supporting - and what are the challenges?

Mission East was quick to respond to the humanitarian crisis following the COVID-19 outbreak with a large-scale COVID-19 emergency relief plan to help over 350,000 people in five selected countries: Nepal, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Global COVID-19 Response Overview

On March 20, Mission East launched a large-scale Corona relief package with the capacity to help over 350,000 people in five selected program countries: Nepal, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. Since then, Tajikistan and Myanmar have been added and the capacity has grown to include 625,000 people in extreme poverty, refugees, internally displaced persons and people with disabilities. They are among the most vulnerable during a pandemic like Covid-19.

Sustainable farming boosts the entire village

Dipar is one of the women in Myanmar who, despite all odds, has overcome a childhood and youth with poverty, distress and marginalization due to her gender, poor educational opportunities, hunger and wars. Today, she is working to improve the situation of her countrymen and women in Chin State through sustainable agriculture.

4 Dec 2019 | Mission East

The fight against poverty is a fight for inclusion

Poverty and exclusion are linked. If we want to fight the former, we must do something about the latter. Mission East has developed an inclusion guide for organizations and others who want to make inclusion of everyone who is subject to social marginalization and discrimination an integrated practice in day-to-day work.

3 Dec 2019 | Mission East

From bare survival to lust for life

Many refugees associate guilt and shame with the violent experiences many have had during their escape. War refugees experience terrible mental trauma. How do they get on with their lives?

We have asked Louise Schwartz from the Department of Trauma and Torture Survivors in Odense.

What makes survivors of trauma and torture survive, or rather, overcome terrible war experiences?

From point zero to the pinnacle of elite sports

Nadia Nadim has gone all the way. From fleeing the Taliban to becoming Denmark's female power striker and first Danish national team player with a refugee background. In this exclusive interview with Mission East she discloses what has given her the impetus to go after the trophy.

A displaced person returns home

Karam had to flee from Islamic State's occupation of Mosul. Today he drives into the same Mosul as driver for Mission East. Meanwhile, he puts aside the anxiety and the bad memories. Of course, I have to help my neighbors, he says.

Karam was part of the team that ran into Mosul after the city had just been exposed to some of the worst bomb attacks, and parts of the city were still in the midst of active conflict. Along with four other Mission East employees, Karam provided relief packages to the hungry population after Islamic State was pushed out of town.

Finding solutions where there are none

The security situation in Afghanistan is the worst since the Taliban war started. Public infrastructure has collapsed, and even die-hard war correspondents are increasingly staying away. But how do ordinary Afghans handle the permanent state of emergency? The Afghans have an ability to find solutions where there are none, Mission East's experience shows.

"We sit here drinking tea and playing games. It's just a way to kill time because we're scared and powerless about what's happening in our country."

Development aid has entered his blood stream

Sakari Koivula is Mission East's Country Director in North Korea. The energetic Finn has experience with development assistance from several African and Asian countries. But never has the effort been as effective as in North Korea, he says. And food security comes first. When a population can feed itself, what other problems they have are solved.

Overcoming - just because you can't see doesn't mean you are fumbling in the dark

Mathias lives in Kirke Hyllinge in Central Zealand with his mother, father and little brother. He has been blind ever since he was almost newborn. Still, he feels like a seeing blind, as he calls it, since he doesn't feel restricted by his visual impairment - something he and his parents have worked on throughout his life:

“There are some things for which I always need help. But I want to make sure there are as many things as I can do myself. My parents and I have done this too. I just want to be as independent and self-reliant as possible. "

 

From disaster relief to children's rights in Armenia

It began with disaster relief to Armenian war victims 27 years ago. Since then, the focus was on all children's right to learning and, most recently, inclusion of children with disabilities in schools. Mission East's office in the country is now being transferred to a local partner in Armenia, through which we continue our work.

26 Sep 2019 | Mission East

Nexus - between crisis and development

 

In the world's most troubled and vulnerable countries, Mission East works with both short-term disaster relief, long-term development and everything in between, which helps get a country and its people back on track - also called 'nexus'.

When Mission East moves into a country with relief, a long stretch of work begins. It spans from providing food, water and blankets in emergency situations to a slow rebuilding of a community before actual development work begins.

25 Sep 2019 | Mission East

Wills: Born with a charity gene

She has been collecting clothing, hospital supplies, furniture, beds and medicine together for Bulgaria and South America, especially Bolivia, for over 30 years. Concert pianist Astrid Møller is a fiery soul who is passionate about helping the world's poorest. Astrid Møller was born with a help gene.

25 Sep 2019 |

Young people rebuild Iraq

Adolescents in Iraq are key nexus players in the process of restoring everyday life in Sinjar. That is why Mission East helps the young people where the needs are

The Yezidis in Sinjar district are currently at ground zero. They stand in the ruins of what was once their home and need to find a new foothold.

3x3 project is intended to increase health in poor Myanmar

Three meals a day, three kinds of vegetables at each meal, and three food groups each week. It is the recipe that should make the population healthy so that they have the profits to learn new sustainable cultivation methods and thus lift the remote Maraland out of poverty.

Distress teaches woman to manage her business

 

Afghan women have traditionally been inferior to men in status and often live marginalized in society as wife and mother. For some, they have succeeded in both providing for the family, gaining financial independence and being respected in the local community.

As a young man, Saleha dreamed of becoming a financially independent woman, respected in her community and valued by her family - knowing that women in Afghanistan are traditionally inferior to men and marginalized as gender.

The potato: A nexus agent in the service of resilience

In development work, the potato is perhaps a difficult sell when one humanitarian crisis after another calls for the world's attention and support. But in North Korea, the little yellow-gray screech is bursting with transformative power: it paves the way for less dependence on humanitarian aid.

Falling accident and a goat had lifelong consequences

In Nepal's remote mountainous villages the very young children are at high risk of falling, broken limbs and burns. As medical care is not available, even the smallest accidents can cause lasting disabilities. Unfortunately, Sarita's story is not uncommon in the remote mountainous areas of Nepal. She lives with a physical disability due to an accident she sustained when she was a child when she did not have access to medical care.

Mission East opens a new office in DPRK

Mission East operates as the only Danish relief organization in DPRK. The organization now opens its own office in the country to be able to follow developments closely, respond quickly to needs - and to be able to continuously monitor projects and develop new ones with local authorities and international players

Barren surroundings lead to disabilities in children

 

In Nepal, people with disabilities have their everyday lives in the unsettled mountain areas, where they move safely around the outermost slopes. With a camera and a drone, Mission East's Communications Officer Michael Schmidt followed a family man and a schoolgirl's life on a steep hillside to an awareness campaign on people with disabilities.

24 Jul 2019 | Mission East

Annual report 2018: Building lasting change together

Mission East’s Annual Report for 2018 shows how Mission East continues to work in humanitarian response, long-term development and in the fragile space between the two. We provided rapid humanitarian support to communities emerging from conflict or suffering from natural disasters while continuing to build long-term partnerships for lasting change.

Read the annual report

Bimala was banished to the cowshed

Everyone in Bimala Kafles village was convinced that she and the other women were dangerous during their menstrual period. In Mission East’s youth group, they have discovered that there is nothing to be afraid of. 

Sale of paper figures benefits North Korea’s most vulnerable

Annelise Würtz spends her winters creating beautiful and refined figures out of paper strips. She donates part of the profit to Mission East’s work among malnourished families in North Korea.

”I have always been impressed by Mission East’s work,” Annelise Würtz says when asked why she chose to support Mission East’s work, when she back in 2016 with great enthusiasm began creating and selling paper strip figures – the so-called quilling figures.  

28 Dec 2018 |

Cash assistance to rebuild Mosul

A family father got money from Mission East to rebuild his destroyed house in West Mosul. With the money, his wife could also get a surgery. 

It is incredible what you can accomplish with a small fund in the bombed-out Iraqi city of Mosul.  

For 350 Euros, the 36-year-old Ahmad Abbas could afford to repair his house and even had a little left to pay for medical help.

21 Dec 2018 |

Haircutting event brings joy to Mosul’s children

Mission East’s partner in Mosul has helped 150 boys beginning the new school year with fresh haircuts.

Khaled is only five years old, but his short life has been dramatic so far. The little boy from the war-torn city of Mosul lost his father during the violent battle over the city, and when his family’s house was bombed into pieces, they had to settle in another neighbourhood. 

Vegetables make children healthy

Pabitra’s daughter did not get enough food when she was a baby and struggles with physical and cognitive difficulties. But in Mission East’s classes for women in Nepal, Pabitra is now learning how to give her children a healthy and nutritious diet. 

Pabitra comes from an extremely poor Dalit family in the remote mountain area of Western Nepal. She got married by the age of 15 and lives with her husband and three children in the village of Thehe. The family lives off the food they manage to grow on their own little piece of land. 

A man and his shop

A Yezidi family in the Iraqi town of Sinune are looking forward to reopening their shop that was destroyed by Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager – June 2018

The words ”Lions of Islamic State” are written in large, black letters on the shop front. This graffiti is an unpleasant reminder of the violent times in August 2014 when the extremist movement invaded this part of Northern Iraq.

Effective aid can prevent a looming food crisis in North Korea

This summer’s heatwave in North Korea has dried out the maize harvest and made the undernourished population even more dependent on outside help, the managing director of Mission East concludes after visiting the country. Mission East secures the water supply and makes agriculture more efficient.

A new, serious food crisis is looming in North Korea. This summer’s heatwave brought temperatures of up to 40 degrees for a whole month and dried out the country’s maize fields. The harvest is expected to be reduced by 30 per cent.

29 Aug 2018 |

The beekeepers on the mountain

On Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq Mission East helps local Yazidis to create a new life for themselves. The activities include beekeeping and growing vegetables in large greenhouses.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager

While Heba puts on her protection suit, the bees are humming loudly, joyfully and persistently in the background – as to emphasize the necessity of shielding oneself against their stings. She walks over to one of the beehives, opens the lid and proudly displays its contents.

Mavriya can provide for herself

Mavriya was a child with a disability, so all the odds were against her. But then she started attending Mission East’s rehabilitation centre, and today the young Tajik woman is running her own small business.

By Hilola Ashurova, Mission East Tajikistan & Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager – June 2018

Jhupu manages the village bank

When women learn to count numbers, calculate and save up money, they can fund small businesses and improve their living conditions.

By Susanne Madsen, Fundraiser and Line Højland, Communications Officer – June 2018

In Jhupu Rokaya’s village Murma, the women have a large metal box with three locks on. Jhupu has the key to one of the locks, but to open the box, the keepers of the two other keys must be present too.

New farming methods drive hunger away

A new Mission East project trains the poverty-stricken Mara people in cultivating crops all year round. It will provide children and adults with better nutrition.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer – June 2018

Pawtlei and her old mother struggle to keep hunger at bay. They belong to the isolated Christian Mara people in Myanmar's Chin State, one of the least developed areas of the country.

”I feel more confident”

Thadak Hlaing’s dream is to pass her exam and do charity work for the benefit of her people. At the COME school she gets help with the difficult exams.

By Alex Ramos-Peña, HQ Programme Manager and Line Højland, Communications Officer – June 2018

10 Jul 2018 |

The children feel safe at the centre

More than 600 children attend the Mission East child centre in a poor neighbourhood in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Most of them have been displaced by war. At the centre they can play, learn and process the often harrowing experiences they have been through.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

10 Jul 2018 |

When war knocked on Shamil’s door

Mission East has distributed food in several devastated neighbourhoods in West Mosul. Shamil, Saabira and Ahmed, who have all received emergency relief, recount the time during and after Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

When the front line reached Shamil’s street in West Mosul, about ten Islamic State warriors entered his house and set up camp there while awaiting the arrival of their enemy. They did not let any of the inhabitant’s escape, using them as human shields to avoid air strikes.

10 Apr 2018 |

Yezidi family is missing three children

The members of a Yezidi family in northern Iraq were brutally separated from each other because of Islamic State. The family has not heard from three of the children for more than two years. They are either still in captivity – or dead.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

Clean water and better nutrition for North Korean families

Mission East is helping North Korean families protect themselves against contagious diseases and produce more food – for the benefit of themselves and their environment.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer, Oktober 2017

The inhabitants of Taegok Ri village in the southeastern part of North Korea do not have enough food. That is why they cultivate as much land as they can – in the valley as well as on the surrounding hill slopes. However, their way of farming may have disastrous consequences.

Air coolers make camp life bearable

Mission East has provided air coolers for an entire IDP camp in Iraq. They make the summer heat bearable for the camp’s more than 10,000 inhabitants who have escaped from Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, October 2017

There is a world of difference between a tent with an air cooler – and a tent without one. This becomes very clear when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature reaches 45 degrees, and the Nazrawa Camp is suddenly hit by a power cut.

20 Feb 2018 |

IDPs earn an income from painting schools

Mission East has hired people who are displaced because of the conflict in Iraq to paint schools in a neighbourhood in Kirkuk. They earn an income, acquire new skills and make the local area look nicer.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, October 2017

16 Feb 2018 |

New hope for a forgotten village

In a village just south of Mosul, the inhabitants are on the edge of starvation and affected by almost three years of occupation by Islamic State. That is why Mission East has distributed food to them – and plans to do more. e

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, October 2017

16 Feb 2018 |

’Mission East is our school’

It all started when a group of students wanted to make a difference in their war-torn country. Today, Mission East’s partner Humanity has grown into an organisation that helps thousands of Iraqis.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, September 2017

Twenty years of peace in Central Asia’s forgotten country

When Mission East started distributing food to thousands of people in Tajikistan, the country was still ravaged by civil war. Later, the population got help to feed itself. And now, 20 years later, Mission East is working on projects involving water, sanitation and hygiene, assistance to persons with disabilities and the defense of girls’ and women’s rights.

By Svend Løbner, journalist, September 2017

A future without food shortages

Mai Ki and her colleagues from the local organisation Together for Sustainable Development are working to eradicate food shortages among their vulnerable fellow countrymen and -women in Myanmar. Cooperation with Mission East has taught them to work more efficiently.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, September 2017

When Mai Ki needs to attend an important meeting in Myanmar’s largest and most important city, Yangon, she hires a motorcycle taxi in her home village of Lailenpi in the remote Chin State.

From illiteracy to local politics

Lalparu Sunar grew up in a poor family in the remote Karnali region. She was unable to read and write. After her participation in a literacy group for women she had the courage to run for local office - and was elected.

By Asha Budha Magar, Mission East Nepal, September 2017