Red Crosser Esther Laforte lends a helping hand to the German Red Cross

While Germany continues to take in thousands of refugees fleeing violence in their countries, the German Red Cross welcomes them into reception centres and camps. Canadian Red Cross staff member Esther Laforte, Deputy Director, Disaster Management in Quebec, was deployed to a camp in Erding, Germany, to support the German Red Cross' refugee response efforts.
Before I left, I was thrilled by the idea of being able to help my German Red Cross colleagues welcome and shelter refugees at the Erding camp. Canadian Red Cross teams have already been providing technical and logistical support there for several weeks. In early September, we were able to send emergency supplies to Germany: some 5,000 cots and 5,000 blankets were provided by the Government of Quebec and an equal number from our own emergency supplies inventory.
A woman sitting by empty cotsDuring my first visit, I found a piece of home at the Erding camp: I had been deployed to the same place as some of the cots we had sent a few weeks earlier. What a coincidence!
The Erding camp is where refugees spend a night or two while waiting to register with the German authorities. After they register, the thousands of men, women, and children are transferred to longer-term camps.
The camp can safely house up to 5,000 refugees at a time, even in the dead of winter. The shelters have been set up in the airplane hangars of an old military base. It's quite impressive. There's even a huge heated tent the size of a football field!
Today, I helped put together the camp hospital, which will be run by Red Cross physicians. In the middle of doing so, I had the chance to speak with one of the physicians in charge, who was from Kelowna, B.C. 
I felt very welcomed here and it’s reassuring to know that refugees arriving at the Erding camp are being welcomed as well. 

Canadians can make a difference by donating to the Refugee Crisis appeal

See your impact in action.

Sign up to receive impact updates from the Canadian Red Cross, inspirational stories from the field and be the first to hear about emergency relief efforts.

The Canadian Red Cross takes your privacy seriously. We do not distribute or sell your email address to anyone. View our privacy policy.

Blog Archives