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Germany, Benefit Concert for the Desert Flower Center

Germany, Benefit Concert for the Desert Flower Center

Berlin, Germany [APD; CD EUDNews]. On May 4. around 700 people were present for a benefit concert by the German Military Band in the "Estrel Convention Center" in Berlin-Neukölln. The musicians raised 14,000 euros for female genital mutilation who are tre

May 14, 2014 | APD; CD EUDNews;

Berlin, Germany [APD; CD EUDNews]. On May 4. around 700 people were present for a benefit concert by the German Military Band in the "Estrel Convention Center" in Berlin-Neukölln. The musicians raised 14,000 euros for female genital mutilation who are treated holistically in "Desert Flower Center" at the Waldfriede Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Walter Ratzek and Captain Tobias Wunderle they featured music from the past two centuries. The Overture "1812" by Peter Tchaikovsky, "Farewell of Slawin" by Vasily Agapkin and a march from the opera "Les Huguenots" by Giacomo Meyerbeer. Also included was the concert for trombone solo and wind orchestra by the English composer Philip Sparke with Olaf Ott, trombone player from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. There were selections from "Porgy & Bess" by George Gershwin, "The Band Wagon" by Philip Sparke and highlights from the musical "Phantom of the Opera", " Starlight Express", "Elizabeth" and "Mamma Mia". What really thrilled the audience was the soprano Leonor Amaral from Portugal.

The purpose of the German Military Band together with the Honour Guard Battalion from the Ministry of Defence, with over 110 musicians, was to welcome the government officials of the Republic of Germany. Every year this orchestra also plays more than 70 different national anthems. The mission of the musicians is to perform benefit concerts.

Make life worth living with "Waldfriede Desert Flower Centre"

Thomas Heilmann (CDU) the Berlin Senator for Justice and Consumer Affairs, paid tribute to the "Waldfriede Desert Flower Center" as a sign of "solidarity and humanity". This will give new life to women who are victims of this "global crime" of female genital mutilation. He also brought greetings from the Ursula von der Leyen, Defence Minister and sponsor of the charity concert. She wrote: "I think it's important that we draw attention to the cruelty of female genital mutilation so that it will come to an end one day. I find it equally important, that we help the victims have a life worth living."

Evelyn Brenda, from Kenya, who works as a volunteer for the "Waldfriede Desert Flower Center" and for ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), pointed out that in her East African homeland among the Maasai, genital mutilation of girls is very common. "A girl can only marry if she is circumcised." This idea is so firmly rooted in the minds of men that genital mutilation of young girls is also practiced in Germany.

Dr. Cornelia Strunz Medical Director, reported that the reconstructive surgery is not always the main goal for the women who come to her for consultation. In many cases they come simply to relieve the pain that they suffer since the circumcision. Sexual intercourse or even just urinating can be quite painful. In addition to reconstructive surgery of the clitoris and labia, the medical team also concentrates on scars, fistulas and incontinence - all consequences of the cruel procedure from which the affected women often suffer all their lives. Along with surgery, the patients are cared for psychosocially.

The "Desert Flower Centre" was opened on September 11, 2013 at the Hospital "Waldfriede" in Berlin-Zehlendorf. Waris Dirie, author of "Desert Flower" and founder of "Desert Flower Foundation" in Vienna, inaugurated the center with a moving speech. She was herself a child victim of female genital circumcision and has been fighting against this human rights violation since 2002.

Doctors with experience - medical and psychological counselling

The director of the Centre is Professor Dr. Roland Scherer. When asked why is "Waldfriede" helping these patients, he replied: Because we also specialize in bowel and pelvic floor surgery. Here we have Germany's most experienced doctors. "Since the opening, 13 women have already had operations, about 50 have been counselled medically and psychologically during office hours, another 70 by phone. Operations take place once a month and the waiting list is now full. The cost of treating uninsured patients is financed through donations of "Waldfriede Development Association Hospital", which also hosted the benefit concert.

Scherer pointed out: "Mutilation of women is not entirely reversible, but we can give them back their quality of life." This centre wants to help the women also in their family disputes because they would not necessarily approve our treatment, which is often considered to go against their tradition. The "Waldfriede" Hospital chaplain, Gabriele Stangl said: "Our European standards and values ​​don’t necessarily help with the issue, we must understand what drives mothers to push their girls to circumcision, such a terrible thing as part of life. "It is important to encourage women to take the treatment that we give because it is very important for themselves and their health. "Trust can only be developed if they learn about us."

“Waldfriede" is a training hospital for the Charité-University of Medicine in Berlin. It has 160 beds including the Emergency Department, Internal Medicine, Anesthesia / Intensive Care / Pain Management, Intensive Care training Centre, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Endocrine and Bowels Surgery, Hand Surgery, Upper Extremity and Foot Surgery, Accident Surgery, Center for Bowel and Pelvic Floor Surgery, Pelvic Floor training Centre, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology/CT, Physiotherapy and "Prima Vita" Health Centre. Other hospital services are Psychotherapy for outpatient, Short-term Care, Welfare Centre, Laboratory Medicine, Medical Check-ups, and the Academy for Health and Nursing. Waldfriede cares for about 14,000 inpatients and 47,000 outpatients annually.

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