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

A young woman in the emergency frontline

Rozh Ahmed, 25, was the only female member of Mission East’s emergency response team as it started relief distributions in Mosul in late 2016. The experience has been tough and educational for her.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication manager, October 2017

If Rozh Ahmed had decided on a secure and predictable course in life, she might have become a university lecturer in her home city of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Instead, the bright and well-educated woman has chosen to be in the frontline of Mission East’s relief effort in war-torn Mosul.

1 Sep 2017 | Mission East

Mission East awarded stamp of approval for humanitarian work

Mission East has been recognised among leading aid agencies with the award of a certificate of compliance with the Core Humanitarian Standard. Certification is only awarded to agencies carrying out work of the highest standard.

August 2017

The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) sets out a framework of responsibilities for aid workers and aid organisations, to ensure the delivery of timely, well-informed, effective humanitarian aid, by competent staff, and with respect and participation of aid recipients.

Nepalese learn how to handle the whims of nature

Mission East aims to enable people in remote communities to respond quickly and effectively when the next disaster strikes.

By Lizz Harrison, Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Manager, Mission East Nepal

Just over two years ago, Nepal was devastated by two major earthquakes hitting within weeks of each other and causing massive destruction. Almost 9,000 people were killed and 20,000 more were injured. 

19 Jul 2017 |

”I have never seen anything this vulnerable in my entire life”

Seeing the distress of displaced Iraqi families made a strong impression on Danish parliamentarian Christina Egelund. She witnessed Mission East staff deliver emergency aid near Mosul and Kirkuk with dignity and respect for the displaced families.

By Svend Løbner, journalist

It is useful for politicians to get a glimpse of reality and meet people who have lost everything and depend completely on humanitarian aid from Denmark.

17 Jul 2017 |

Aid that benefits

An emergency relief kit can make a big difference to an Iraqi family.

Earlier this year, Najib, an Iraqi father and farmer, returned to his home in the Christian village of Telasquf near Mosul after having been displaced from there for two and a half years. When he met the Managing Director of Mission East, Kim Hartzner, he thanked him for the relief that he and his village had recently received.

17 Jul 2017 |

Forty-five tons of food for West Mosul

Last year, Mission East was one of the first international organisations to help the population of East Mosul. Since then, the organisation has also been at the forefront of relief efforts for the beleaguered inhabitants in the western part of the city.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

When lightning strikes

Read how people in the Tajik village of Veshist cope with the floods that strike them every year.

By Line Højland, Communcations Officer, July 3 2017 

The sun was shining. There were rainclouds on the horizon, but they were far away, above the mountains. The families in Veshist did not sense any danger in leading their animals down to the bank of the Zerafshan River to graze, as was their custom.

But then lightning struck.

The walls saved the village

A village in northwestern Afghanistan used to be hard hit by floods that washed out crops as well as houses. Then Mission East helped the villagers build three protection walls to divert the water.

By Eng Habib og Nadir Faez, Mission East Afghanistan. Edited by Kim Wiesener, July 3 2017

Mohammad Nadir remembers his childhood in Malikha-e-Khetayan. The village near the Taloqan River in northwestern Afghanistan was surrounded by green fields, the hills nearby were full of trees and bushes, and the area was home to a variety of wild animals.

How do you avoid disasters?

Mission East saves lives in Nepal – now and many years ahead – by training the population to reduce the risk of disasters. Lizz Harrison, an expert in disaster risk reduction, and explains how.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer, July 3 2017

When a disaster strikes, it may destroy people’s lives, homes and livelihood. It may also cause a lot of damage to a country’s economy. If the country is poor, it is much more difficult to respond to the disaster, and its development may come to a standstill.

Hidden children emerge from the shadows

‘Defective humans’ – this is how people with disabilities were perceived in the Soviet Union. This attitude still exists in Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet republics, but Mission East is working to change it.

By Line Højland and Kim Wiesener, Communications Officers

”Children with disabilities have various talents”

School no 53 in the village of Marghedar appreciated having a play corner where children with disabilities can learn numbers, letters and IT at their own speed. The lessons enable more children to go to school and become part of the local community.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer

Different but equal

A pair of Armenian twins have overcome many of the limitations that their disability imposed upon them. They are now university students and are grateful to Mission East’s partner organisation, Bridge of Hope, for helping them get this far.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Laxmi had to flee to attend school

The partner organisation of Mission East, HEAD Nepal, locates blind and partially sighted children in remote mountain villages and ensures that they attend school. Laxmi Shahi is one of these children.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Laxmi Shahi from Nepal’s remote Humla District is partially sighted, but she is doing very well at school. She is one of the best students in her class and aims to become a teacher for other children with disabilities.

12 Apr 2017 | Mission East

Minister: Cooperation is beautiful

Through local knowledge and know-how, organisations like Mission East can gain better access to some areas than government representatives. In turn, the Danish authorities can contribute financially. According to the Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, this is a unique form of cooperation.

By Svend Løbner, Journalist

12 Apr 2017 |

Mission East makes a difference in Mosul

Managing Director Kim Hartzner visited Iraq in March together with Christina Egelund, spokesperson on political affairs for one of the governing parties in Denmark, Liberal Alliance. Meeting Mission East beneficiaries made a strong impression on both of them.

By Svend Løbner, Journalist, and Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

12 Apr 2017 |

When fear takes hold of your body

Samira’s story gives a unique insight into the situation of Iraqi IDPs. Fear is the predominant feeling, and requirements for the future are modest. Samira and her family had to endure IS abuse for two years. Now they live in an IDP camp where they have received mattresses from Mission East.

By Svend Løbner, Journalist

Fear has taken hold of Samira’s body. The 25-year old mother escaped with her husband and children from the cruel regime of Islamic State and now live in a tent in Daquq IDP Camp outside Kirkuk in Iraq.

2 Mar 2017 | Mission East

”You are ready to move – also for the long haul”

NGOs like Mission East are very much needed in a future with climate change and overpopulation, says former Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Per Stig Møller.

By Svend Løbner, freelance journalist

“Mission East has a broad agenda that covers emergency aid as well as long term development, e.g. road building in Afghanistan. You have a wide scope that enables you to react quickly, but also engage in long-lasting and long-term work. This is quite unusual for such a young organisation,” Per Stig Møller noted recently.

”You can never go far enough”

The Mission East Country Director for Nepal realises that it can be expensive to work in the most remote parts of the country. But it is also necessary, he says, given that Mission East aims to reach the most vulnerable.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

When Patrick Sweeting began to visit Nepal’s remote Karnali Region to inspect Mission East projects, he quickly understood that you must go the extra mile to find the most vulnerable people.

The boy Ram now lives in dignity

A blind Nepalese boy was forced to live in a cowshed. Now Ram is flourishing at a home that is run by Mission East’s partner organisation, HEAD Nepal.

By Patrick Sweeting, Mission East Country Director, Nepal

Ram Banadur Shahi, a six-year old boy, was not born blind, but he was born poor. As the youngest son of a poor farmer in the mountainous and arid region of Humla District in western Nepal, he could have expected a hard life, but nobody could have predicted the terrible fate that awaited him.

Disaster aid for North Koreans

Heavy floods in North Hamyong province have made thousands of people homeless. Mission East is one of the few international aid organisations in the area and provides clean drinking water and hygiene training so that the local population is not infected by dirty river water.

By Svend Løbner, freelance journalist

Kim Kyong Ok is sitting at the entrance to the tent that she inhabits together with her daughter and son-in-law. She is surrounded by a few modest objects – some cooking gear, a bicycle and a pair of shoes.

Afghan bio-briquettes conserve energy

In a remote mountain village in northeastern Afghanistan Mission East is teaching local women to make biological fuel by using cheap and available natural resources.

By Kim Wiesener and Line Højland, Communications Officers

Place some weeds and leaves in a 90 centimetres deep pit. Burn them carefully, take the semi-burned items out of the pit, mix them with soil and some water and shape them into round briquettes using a metal form.

10 Feb 2017 |

Mission East is distributing aid near Mosul frontline

20 January 2017

The Dane Knud Andersen and his Mission East team have distributed emergency aid to 9,000 displaced people in and around Mosul. “We are close to the frontline and can hear planes and artillery above us,” he said.

This week, Mission East distributed more emergency aid to people fleeing the fighting in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The organisation has handed out cooking utensils and hygiene kits to hundreds of families near the war zone.

1 Feb 2017 | Mission East

Futurologists: Fast, hitech aid can prevent future conflicts

What will aid work be like in 25 years? Mission East has interviewed two Danish futurologists, each with their own point-of-view. One of them believes in self-help via the internet and new technology, the other predicts that there will be more speed and flexibility in aid. Both, however, agree that aid organisations will be needed in the future.

By Svend Løbner, freelancejournalist

1 Feb 2017 | Mission East

‘Aid is our life's passion!’

It started in a garage in the Danish town of Birkerød. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, René and Kim Hartzner sent food, medicine and hospital equipment to poor people in Eastern Europe. Today, Mission East has grown into a quite large aid organisation, specialising in emergency relief and long-term development in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The enthusiasm is undiminished.

By Svend Løbner, freelance journalist

Iraq 2016: From Mosul to Mission East

Abdullah Said, a 21-year old Iraqi IT student, has escaped twice from the terrorist movement Islamic State. Now he is taking care of small children in one of Mission East’s child centres – in a camp where he is living himself.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

The chemistry is obvious. When Abdullah Said teaches Arabic writing to boys and girls of kindergarten age, everyone is smiling and laughing. Learning should be fun, and it is when he is working with three- to five-year-old kids at the Mission East Child Friendly Space at Nazrawa Camp.

31 Jan 2017 |

Iraq 2014: Emergency aid in the chaos of war

In the summer of 2014, the world was shaken by the news of Islamic State’s horrific treatment of everyone who did not support their rigid interpretation of Islam. Mission East is helping displaces Iraqis with support for body and mind.

By Svend Løbner, freelance journalist

Nepal 2006: Clean water and disaster awareness are lifesavers

Since 2006, Mission East has worked to develop remote mountain communities in western Nepal. The poverty-stricken population has found new opportunities and hope for the future. A permanent presence in the country also enables Mission East to respond quickly to disaster situations.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer

Afghanistan today: She feeds her children by selling jam

Many families in Afghanistan go to bed hungry. Mission East is training women to support themselves and their families.

Sayerah, a 35-year old Afghan woman, remembers with horror the time before she started her own small business. “It was so awful and scary. My husband is a day labourer, but often there was no work, and it was difficult for us to get just one decent meal a day for our nine children,” she says. Sayerah could only dream of winter clothes and other necessities.

Afghanistan 2001: Food aid for a country on its knees

In October 2001, US and British Forces invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban regime from power. This opened the door for international aid to the severely tested Afghan population, and Mission East started providing food aid that same winter.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer