On the ground: The humanitarian base serves as a lifeline

Editor’s note: This is the second email the Independent Record has received from Hands On Global Executive Director Valerie Hellermann of Helena, who is delivering medical aid and offering comfort to people in Ukraine and Syrian refugees living in Hatay,Turkey (Turkiye), on the Syrian/Turkey border. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Feb. 6, killing nearly 55,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless.

She is making her fourth trip overseas to areas in need since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. She left Helena on Sept. 4 and plans to spend five weeks overseas. She started this trip in the Ukraine, but was rerouted to Turkey to set up a mobile clinic. This email from Hellermann arrived 12:03 a.m. Sunday.

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Portions of this report have been edited for clarity.

HATAY, Türkiye — We started in another Syrian camp where there is a lot of health care needs and the police came and told us to leave.

We still seem to not have permission to help the neediest which are the Syrian refugees.

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