Erbil, Iraq, Apr 9, 2015 / 01:03 am America/Denver (CNA).
It seems to be just another house in the city of Ozar on the outskirts of the Iraqi city of Erbil, but a small sign shows it is different from the rest: the Saint Elizabeth Clinic is where Zuzana Dudova has set up operations along with her small contingent of Slovakian Catholic volunteers who are serving Christian refugees displaced from their homes by the Islamic State.
Dudova, a young doctor who graduated from Saint Elizabeth University in her native Slovakia, came to Erbil with Przemyslaw Ulman and Sonia Revicka to set up a clinic where they could take care of the flood of Christian refugees that settled in this recently constructed suburb.
Saint Elizabeth University specializes in careers related to medicine, social services, and missionary work. Its founder, Dr. Vladimir Kramer, was an important active member of the underground Church during the communist regime. After the fall of the regime, he founded the university with the intention of promoting charitable services throughout the world.
“Organizations like Aid to the Church in Need and the Knights of Columbus have made it possible for hundreds of families to move into new homes, but the number of refugees is so great and the cost of rent is such that three or four families have to share the same dwelling,” Dudova explained to CNA.
Unlike other places in Africa or Southeast Asia where Saint Elizabeth University has established other medical and social services missions, in Erbil “the cost of living is high and this makes aid work for the displaced Christians, as well as medical services, more difficult to sustain,” the doctor explained.