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  • Writer's pictureHumans without Borders

Edna Hakham-Baskin

Edna Hakham-Baskin
Edna Hakham-Baskin

Has been volunteering in Humans without Borders since August 2019.

How Did You Come to Volunteer in Humans without Borders

My friend Michal Preminger, who is on the coordinators' team, suggested that I join her for an exploratory trip. I saw the gentle empathy with which she treated the suffering mother and her small son, who lay curled on her lap. Because of the pain he was not even able to sit. I immediately realized the necessity of my participation in this effort.

What Does Volunteering Mean to You?

There are patients who come from afar, for example from the Yatta area in the southern Hebron hills. they get up early in the morning to negotiate the roads and traffic jams in taxis or buses. When they arrive in Israel, the passage is far from smooth. It hurts me that they are not able to receive proper medical treatment in the West Bank, closer to their homes, and I see the critical importance of facilitating their transportation in relative comfort and ensuring that they receive proper care in Israel.

There are children I drive regularly, and I have the opportunity to chat, especially with the accompanying parent. I'm delighted to practice my Arabic, and they're happy to talk to me. One of the mothers I drive every Saturday with her son, a child requiring dialysis three times a week, often thanks me from the bottom of her heart for the volunteers' activities "in the cold, in the rain, on Saturdays and holidays". She emphasizes that, from her perspective, this is far from obvious. More than once she has mentioned to me that since they started traveling with the organization, their lives have changed for the better.

I also became attached to another mother whose sadness touched my heart very much. She opened up to me and told me about her life. She is swamped in household chores with constant demands from every direction. She has neither a corner nor a moment for herself. This week she told me that her back hurts a lot and I asked if she went to the doctor. She replied in the negative. When I said: it is always the mother who is last, she replied with relief in my understanding of her situation.

How Do You Experience Volunteering in the NGO?

I have experienced two difficulties when volunteering for Humans without Borders:

One is to witness adverse changes in the health of children, the child’s deterioration toward the end of their lives and the exhaustion of the family members who accompany them. The heart aches at the death of children. Since I joined the organization, several children have died, some of whom I drove. However, in other cases there is great joy when, after a successful kidney transplant, a child returns to normal life and functioning. Then they only require periodic check-ups at the hospital.

The other difficulty is delays in passing through the checkpoints the cause of which is not always clear, and sometimes it seems to be due to an attitude ranging from a lack of sensitivity to a real bitterness. I am ashamed when I have no explanation for this. But here, too, there is comfort, in cases where the soldier serving as shift supervisor listens and tries to help and assist the family. This would not be possible without the on-going work and the efforts of the coordinators in HWB, who wisely manipulate the difficulties which they resolve with an amazing determination. Without them, the frustration of the families and ours would be much greater.

What Do You Think Is the Main Challenge that Humans without Borders Faces?

A friend brings a friend to the organization, but the needs are constantly growing as more people are needed to assist the children so we will not have to rely upon taxis. The volunteers in the organization show an amazing commitment to assist, and the proof is the almost unsupervised flow of families to and from the hospitals without malfunctions or problems.

I am happy to be part of this endeavor and am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the activities of Humans without Borders.


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