MDA provides shelter for migrants due to cold

Homeless people would otherwise have had to suffer near-freezing temperatures at Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park.

February 20, 2012 05:38
1 minute read.
A STAFFER speaks with a migrant at MDA HQ

MDA provides shelter for migrants 390. (photo credit: MDA)


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Some 100 homeless people from Sudan and Eritrea spent the weekend in Magen David Adom’s Tel Aviv headquarters at the invitation of management.

The homeless people would otherwise have had to suffer near-freezing temperatures, heavy rain and high winds at Levinsky Park where they have lived for months.

MDA director Eli Bin said his first-aid and ambulance organization couldn’t stand by while the migrants were exposed to the unbearable weather. Management provided good food, hot-water showers, mobile toilets, beds, mattresses, sleeping bags, underwear, socks, warm blankets and clothes, slippers, toothbrushes and soap for the migrants. TV sets and games were lent to the visitors to help pass the time.

When they arrived, an MDA doctor and paramedic examined them and gave them treatment. Some of the refugees, who arrived over the border with Sinai, suffered from injuries and infected or untreated bullet and stab wounds from before they arrived in Israel. An Arabic-speaking MDA staffer came on Shabbat and gave them a firstaid course. MDA said that they observed the Shabbat while doing the good deed.

After Shabbat, the temporary guests were given large tote bags to store the equipment they had been given. But one woman and her two children – a year and three years old – who turned out to be (non- Jews) from Ethiopia – were given shelter for a longer period until the authorities could find a solution, MDA said.

“It was very moving to see people used to freezing on the grass and starving enjoy good food and hot drinks, warm beds and basic equipment,” Bin said. “Some of them said they had not had a shower in two months. This situation poses serious health dangers, so MDA is preparing to buy mobile showers and industrial washing machines to help them have a basic level of hygiene. We can’t leave them in this condition in the streets.

I hope the authorities will find a humane solution.”

Ahmed Isaman, one of the refugees who fled from Darfour four years ago, said that “MDA gave us food, a warm place to be and even toothbrushes.

I have no words to express my thanks.”

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