Avicenna english


Avicenna was founded with the original intention of helping people and organizations in countries where help is needed. Due to the growing destruction and oppression of many countries and the increasing number of people who are forced to flee their native countries, Avicenna has adapted its original goals to now primarily support refugees „on the road“ to Europe. A special focus lies on people who stay in inofficial camps near their homeland, in order to return home at some point or keep staying in their homeland in difficult conditions.

We invite everyone willing to help people in need to support us in person or with a monetary donation.

Our Facebook Site is permanently updated with new information, reports and fotos.


War in Ukraine

It’s war, this time on our own doorstep. Millions of people are on the run. But countless people, especially young people, are also helping.
As after the fire in Moria, we have joined forces with numerous NGOs to coordinate our work in a „Civilian Crisis Team“. About 80 NGOs are also already active on the Polish border. In Poland, the solidarity of the population is huge this time and several thousand apartments and rooms are being made available throughout the country. So far, about 15,000 refugees have arrived in Poland, and about 100,000 are at the border crossings. The computer system at the border crossings has broken down. Aid organizations are still being let in to Ukraine. However, the way back takes days because of the traffic jams at the border. What is needed in Ukraine is mainly food, diesel, medicine and blood donations.

Our Avicenna member Leif Lupp, with your support and that of his friends in Munich, bought relief supplies and medicines, loaded three trucks with them and has already distributed them. At the Polish border he was able to pass on a large load of medicines to an Ukrainian organization and then continued his journey with hygiene articles, 300 blankets and approx. 1.5 tons of baby food to a reception camp in Hungary. In the meantime, the three drivers have purchased more goods on site, loaded them according to the list from the Distribution Center and distributed them again. Today, March 4, a truck returns with a Ukrainian family and the remaining two continue their mission on site. At the same time, Leif informs the civilian crisis team, of which we are also members, about the current situation on the ground.

April: Under the leadership of Leif Lupp we are in the process of buying 5 used Sprinters for conversion to ambulances and bringing them loaded with medicines, according to the needs list of the crisis team to Ukraine. We are cooperating with Kristina Koch from Willkommen in Nippes, who has rented an office and warehouse in Chernowitz in Ukraine and has built up a good network.
The refugee camps and hospitals connected to the network need pretty much everything. Many injured and sick people from the bombed cities end up here. In order to optimize the previous supply with local purchases and distributions of medicine and relief supplies, we have now approached the members of the crisis team and a large-scale transport from Germany was immediately initiated. We still need your help with donations in kind to the coordination points (see below) as well as monetary donations. In addition to our benefit event in Cologne, an event is now also being organized in Wilnsdorf, the proceeds of which will go to the people from Ukraine.

Help us

Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V.
Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank – apoBank
IBAN: DE 55 3006 0601 0005 0195 00

Keyword: Ukraine

You can support our projects also personally.

Please indicate your adress on the transfer form if you wish to receive a receipt for your donation.


About us

We are a small group of doctors and other NGO’s supporting refugees during their stay outside their native countries. We have helped in Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Irak, Lebanon and the refugees from Myan Mar in Bangla Desh. We provide for medical aid and – with the help of our international and local friends and helpers – for general supplies that are vital and bring relief as well as for education. In particular, we support the self-organization of those who are placed under disability to facilitate a life in dignity.


Çeşme area refugees


How it started

In fall 2015, we intended to spend our vacation in Crete/Greece. However, we then received a text message from a family member, who was engaged by German news magazine „Der Spiegel“ to write a reportage while travelling the Balkan-route. He informed us about the wretched situation he encountered in Lesbos, asking us whether we’d be willing to help. Barely having arrived in Crete, we found ourselves on the next machine headed for Lesbos.

Since that moment, we are people on the road – looking for people on the road. We’ve met people who have lost their home and who are hoping for a safe, humane and – most of all – fair future. We have met people, who find joy and fulfillment by helping others. These ongoing encounters are changing our lives and have not lost their grip on us ever since!


TV report about our work in Lesbos

In the black of night, a rubber dinghy is attempting to land on a rocky coast in Lesbos. Shrieks of children are echoing through the darkness, while the boat is in permanent danger of capsizing. Intended for 30 people only, more than 60 are now huddled together on board…

These are scenes which are hard to forget! The people who have fled from war and terror have survived the dangerous passage from Turkey to Greece. They are soaking wet, yet lucky since tonight, helpers are present. Amongst them are the German-Iranian couple Bita and Khalil Kermani, two doctors from Cologne. They are expecting boats to land, helping people to disembark and onto the safe shore.

Part 2 her and Part 3 her


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Çeşme: 2015 and beginning of 2016 in the Çeşme area, refugees had sometimes to wait 10-20 days, depending on the weather and/or controls by the Turkish coastal guard, in order to cross over to the Greek island of Chios. It’s a passage of only 8km, yet oftentimes deadly due to crowded rubber dinghys. Until August 2015, people were split into groups/families after a 4-hour march from the bus-stop and then crammed into filthy construction-abandoned buildings: a smugglers “camp” more like a dumping ground, located right across the shore of Chios.

Starting off in December 2015, we were the first doctors to undertake the medical support of – at times – thousands of refugees, primarily stemming from Afghanistan. Furthermore, we also tried to make their accomodation more „humane“ (for example by providing matresses).

In January 2016, the area was emptied and sealed by the police. Afterwards people were waiting for their passage in boarding houses. Oftentimes, 10-12 people had to share a regular double room. The locals, in particular Ali and his group İmece, provided them on a daily basis with food and clothing.

Later some of those boarding houses were also cleared by the police. Hence, many were forced to sleep outdoors, exposed without protection to the cold. We met many children suffering from highly feverish infections, crouched on park benches.

We were much aided by the circumstance that our native language Farsi is very similar to Afghan, thus enabling us to communicate. It is of great importance to those people to talk – to let someone know about their worries and despair! Even if they should manage to put these exertions behind one day, by surviving the passage (which most of them have attempted several times, already), by getting as far as the Macedonian border – what might be expecting them there, that’s worth hoping for?

Since the border between Greece and Macedonia has been closed and the fugitives, who succeed to cross the sea to Greece, are kept on the islands, only few fugitives can be seen in Cesme. Nobody knows where the approximately 400 people each week depart for Chios.

Ali and his team go on helping the remaining syrian families around Torbali/Izmir.


Izmir and Torbali : In Izmir and the surrounding at the end of 2016 there live about 90.000 refugees. In the western Turkey there are no official camps. Those are in eastern Turkey. There people get help by the government, like food and education for the children. But these camps are completely full . From the 3,5 Million Syrian refugees 90 present have see, how they get along by themselves. In Izmir we work together with a Turkish NGO (Tiafi) and finance a physiotherapist , help families without parents, who can work etc. and in 2019 bought together with a german NGO(Musketiere) a van for the transportation of the children to the Kindergarden and the physiotherapist, buying food for the 100 daily cooked dishes, transportation of ill people to hospital etc.

Approximately 50 km south of Izmir lies the small town of Torbali. In the near vicinity, approx. 8.000 Syrian refugees are living in inofficial camps under most simple conditions.  Nearly none of those camps have sanitary installations – neither baths nor toilets. The people work on the fields, when there is work. Those, who have a official registration, theoretically can get medical help or their children can visit Turkish schools. But for going to a doctor they need to pay a days income for a translator and for going to school, the children have to know turkish. With the help of our friends there we provide medical help and support people there with food etc. In urgent cases arrangements are made for free treatments at the hospital. Christmas 2016 we started an education project, hired Syrian teachers, bought school tents and school material and support since then the growing project. Unfortunately the parents send their children during the season on the fields so we can only offer an evening school in this time. But our school is growing. In winter 2018/2019 we have often 90 pupils in one class and give several shifts during the day. Every family wants to send their children in our class and newcomers try to settle down near our school, so that their children can profit from our school too. Meanwhile all the children have learnt to read and write arabic and are quite good in maths.

Eastturkey: One hour from Adana,  three hours from the syrian border at the end of 2016 their also live many thousand syrian people in about 25 camps, also without any toilets or baths or sufficient electricity. We worked there until spring 2017 all four to six weeks as doctors. Also here we started at the end of 2016 an education project, hired two Syrian teachers and bought two school tents for the bigger camps. In Reyhanye at the Syrian border there are several houses in which handycapped of the war are taken care. We could help with medical work, medicine, wheel chairs and food. Further north at the Syrian border we finance a midwife, who takes care of pregnant and other women in need.


We are in Thessaloniki (October 2020) and work in the Diavata Camp. Many from Moria and the other camps on the islands have been sent here. In total, well over 10.000 people live in and around Thessaloniki in around 18 camps or on the streets. Around 1.500 people currently live in the Diavata Camp, one third of them women and children. Those without a cleared status live in containers and receive a money card for 150 euros for adults and 60 euros per child per month. So they have to provide themselves with everything, food, clothing, hygiene articles, mobile phone transport and medicines. Only makeshift medical treatment and school lessons up to the age of 16 are free. Once the people in Greece are officially registered, they will not receive any further support. You then have to take care of yourself and also leave the container. The same applies to the well over 10.000 refugees in Athens, who meanwhile had to leave their temporary homes in vacant buildings, the so-called squads. People then live in tents or on the street. There is little prospect of work. They then look for food in the waste from the weekly markets or move from Charité to Charity to get food for their families together. As before, most of the medical problems, especially outside of the container settlements, are the consequences of malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions, many skin problems, wounds, infected insect bites all over the body, hair loss etc. In the Diavata Camp we work together with Mauricio, the head of the QRT (Quick response Team). With the support of the Greek NGO Naomi from Thessaloniki, he expanded an old factory building right next to the Diavata Camp and created a place for women and girls there with a few young volunteers. There they can relax, laugh, paint and, depending on which volunteers from Europe are there, also learn. With the generous donation from Pro Humanität we were able to set up and fill his pharmacy so that both state and voluntary doctors, like us, can work. While we were still working from the car and on cardboard boxes in the middle of the tents on the first day, the work situation of our „field clinic“ improved after visiting a camping shop by buying a sun lounger, a camping table and some stools. But the most important thing we can give people is the hope that Europe will not fail them completely. Because after all the hardships of getting here, they are now aware that after the official registration they are completely on their own. The people have reached the end of the road to Europe.


After the closing of the border spring 2016, 27’000 people – amongst which many women and children – were held up under degrading conditions in the north of Greece.

Idomeni: In Idomeni, at the greece border to Macedonia, where between ten and twenty thousand people waited in vain for the passage to the rest of europe.  We helped with medical support, food etc..

Thessaloniki: 11’000 were placed in military camps around Thessaloniki after the evacuation of the Idomeni frontier camp in June. Refugees were literally left to sustain themselves there, provided with some nourishment by the greek army. Without the help of the many, mostly young helpers from all over the world the situation in those camps would be catastrophic. NGOs (non governmental organizations)  provided for doctors and a somewhat more humane infrastructure through their relentless support, made possible by donation funds. Tents were provided by UNHCR etc.

However, people were  pent up together in tight space, exposed to great heat in summer and to the cold of winter. Vegetables or fruit are seldom. A typical breakfast consisted of one single industry made croissant, lunch of a dry sandwhich and one falafel, dinner might consist of a bowl of potatos, or just some plain rice. Most people suffered from lack of vitamines – especially children and pregnant women , unable to prepare dishes on their own and restricted by all other means.

What was worst for most people was to be condemmned to inactivity – bereft of hope that the situation will turn for the better. Such breeding ground leads to desperation, depression and also aggression. In 2017 most of the camps were closed and people had to try and find themselves a shelter or got some place in old houses etc. At the end of 2018 some camps were reopened and we were there to help as doctors and with the distribution of food.

Athens:  Here live about 1000 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, middle east and Africa in empty houses, the so-called squads.  We are there every few weeks to support them with needed goods, like stoves, refrigerators, ovens, mattresses, food, clothings, medical support etc. . At the end of 2018 we started our help for am agriculture  autonomy project. On a piece of land outside Athens the refugees can grow their own food, have their own cow and hopefully soon other animals and can sell cheese and agriculture products on the market in Athens.  We are planing to buy a transporter and hire a house nearby for family to live there.

Korinths Camp: 

In Oktober we started to work as doctors in a new Camp close to Korinth, about one hoer west from Athens. There are about 700 people here from the islands and there are getting more every day. As it is a new camp, there is not much help from NGO`s, the food situation is bad and there is no warm water. We treated more than 300 people, mostly women and children and are planing to improve the situation in the future.

Lesvos: Because of the opening of borders from Turkey many thousands came to the islands.

Now about 22.000 people try to survive in and around Moria Camp. Now in February and March 2020 the situation has even got worse because of the aggressive activities of right groups and the change of the greece policy. So also the school that has been supported by us from stand by me Lesvos has been closed and as it could not be bad enough now the first case of the corona virus has been seen on the island.

Meanwhile we have got notice from a new military camp west from Athens, where about 400 people from Lesbos and Chios and 200 from the squads in Athens have been brought and where there is no help from other NGO`s. The situation there is so bad, that we decide to change our plans and send our van with clothings from Cologne there and also go there to work as doctors and do whatever is needed and possible. We will report soon for you. Thank you so much for your help, which makes our work possible.


Annual overview 2021

In Thessaloniki, we continue to support Naomi as well as the QRT with Mauricio, among other things with the medicines for the Vagiochori and Diavata camps, placement of volunteers and several deliveries of relief supplies. For medical volunteers, we were able to organise the establishment of two dental practices. In Athens, we continue to support Khora free shop with the purchase of food and other relief supplies and were able to organise, finance or support several relief supplies. In Lesvos, we support the work of stand by me lesvos by arranging and sending relief supplies, among other things.

In Izmir, the refugee project Tiafi is mainly financed by Avicenna. After detailed examination, we also received generous support from the Schmitz Foundation for our seamstress training project there. In addition to further training, language courses, the counselling centre and food distribution as well as a canteen kitchen for refugees and needy locals, we continue to finance two physiotherapists for war-wounded Syrian children there, with about 60 patients. In addition, we support particularly needy families and orphans. In Torbali, we continue to finance and organise our school with two teachers and about 60 children in the refugee camps and regularly carry out aid and food card distributions.

In Isfahan, we supported the Avicenna High School in Isfahan, founded by Avicenna founder Dr. Djavad Kermani, to buy heaters this year. Due to the large increase in refugees from Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power, we are helping to build a school for about 360 Afghan children. At the end of the year, lessons for five classes are already taking place in the basement. The German Ortho-Bionomy Society has taken over the financing of the next floor. In the desert village of Harand near Isfahan, we continue to finance speech therapy and bus transport for the children from the surrounding villages. Due to the discontinuation of government support and the failure of the heating system in winter, additional support was approved at the end of the year after an appropriate needs assessment. Due to a severe shortage of medicines because of the economic boycott, we organised an appeal for donations for medicines for children with cancer at the beginning of the year.

In Coxbazar, we carried out three relief operations this year for the Rohingyas after the floods and the major fire.

The entire equipment of the practice of Avicenna member Dr. Hamid Kermani from Wilnsdorf could be sent to Romania together with numerous relief supplies in two truck transports for the construction of a hospital with „love in a box“.

Help us

Donations are used solely for the relief projects specified on this website.

Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V.
Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank – apoBank
IBAN: DE 55 3006 0601 0005 0195 00

Keyword: refugee relief

You can support our projects also personally.

Please indicate your adress on the transfer form if you wish to receive a receipt for your donation.

by AVICENNA Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V.