A lifelong Brazil native is doing his part to help children in war torn Afghanistan.
Volunteer Medics Worldwide (VMW) Director Gerald Flint is voluntarily spending time in Afghanistan with other medical volunteers in an effort to help the children who would otherwise not receive help.
"By going to try to help the children and give them the medical attention they need, there will be less and less suicide bombers," Flint said. "Which will save our troops."
The idea for VMW came 18 years ago when Flint volunteered to go to Kuwait in March 1991 after the Iraqi occupation ended.
"Within 12 hours, I was in Ibn Sina Hospital working in the basement," he said. "Saddam (Hussein) was there seven weeks before that and he turned the hospital into apolice station with a torture chamber. It was horrible"
Flint and other volunteers had no money or supplies. With no other option, he called a radio station in the U.S., and asked them for help.
"At first they didn't believe," he said. "The third time I called them I held the phone outside and they heard the gun fire. Then they believed me."
The experience in Kuwait changed him and he began to look at forming a humanitarian assistance team.
"Nothing beats stronger than the heart of a volunteer," he said.
Now working in conjunction with people all over the world, VMW is taking medical supplies to help those in need and training people overseas on how to use it.
"We have been very blessed with gear," he said. "But we do rely on donations and volunteer support."
Volunteers worked with Flint at his Brazil home Thursday to bag supplies bound for Gandhi Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"They need help," volunteer Kellie Adams said. "They won't have medical supplies if there is no one to pack and send it over."
Today, Flint will be meeting up with other VMW's from Europe, Australia and Taiwan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From there Kam Air will transport the volunteers to Afghanistan.
"Since we are providing them with first aid kits for their planes we are able to fly in there for free," Flint said. "It's pretty awesome."
VMW works all over the world, China, Australia, Honduras, Iraq, Korea, Sri Lanka, the 2005 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. They were also active in the recovery efforts of Sept. 11, 2001.
"I know that I can't do everything," he said. "Therefore I should not refuse to do the things that I know I can do."
How to help
Volunteer Medics Worldwide (VMW) is continuously looking for volunteers and donations.
Some items they are in need of include glasses, medications and medical equipment/supplies.
They are not a 501(c)(3) organization, however a donation up to $250 can still be written off on taxes.
For more information, contact Gerald Flint with Volunteer Medics Worldwide at 812-605-2138 and leave a message or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.