It has hardly rained in the last few days. The weather is super pleasant, a wind is blowing all the time, the sun is shining and in the evening it needs a hoodie and a scarf, at home it is cosy, more and more we make movie evenings in one of the houses and cuddle up to a wine in the beds.
We watch idiotic movies that have nothing to do with reality.
We watch idiotic films that have nothing to do with reality. About vampires, 80% of my suggestions are rejected, because nobody wants to and should watch anything gloomy or serious, it needs some cheerful time a day. The reality is shocking enough, you don’t need another documentary in the evening. For us, blessed with roof and stone wall, the weather is cuddly, for the people in the camp it becomes uncomfortable. For the smugglers it means making as much money as possible before there are storms again and the trips have to go out at a special price. Yes, in case of rain and storm there is a discount on the crossing, disgusting. Accordingly many boats arrived in the last week. Daily up to 200 people, in the evening one sees the police cars driving from the harbour to the camp. Behind the bars in the car are squeezed people, mainly men, many children, a few women. Outside of the fenced camp, in the area where we do the kidsactivities, a new camp is almost under construction. Several tents are standing there, the place is getting scarce even here. The areas are stony, covered with roots, steep downhill. The people build themselves layers of earth and pallets. There are almost exclusively Afghans here. Obviously Afghanistan is not a safe country, as it was classified by the EU.
“Many families. On average three to four children per family, many babies. If it rains a little harder, the tents will just be washed away.”
Many families. On average three to four children per family, many babies. The tents are the same as in the other extended area on the other side of the camp. They consist of one layer, every raindrop comes through here. If it rains a little harder, the tents will simply be washed away. We’re here to distribute the laundry tickets. We try to wash the laundry of the new arrivals so that they have something “welcoming” after all. At least dry, clean clothes, who knows what you have behind you. Many people don’t have laundry. Lost everything, they say. Blankets are no longer distributed. The tents have run out for the camp management.
I am sure: every person in this camp is always ready to flee.
Yesterday morning we woke the people up to give them tickets. Getting people out of their sleep is super intimate. I often get the feeling that people are expecting terrible news. I’m sure everyone in this camp is ready to flee at any time. The Greek army is doing some tests today, sirens are sounding the island regularly, my roommate mentions that it must be quite “triggering”. Like the fireworks last night, the thunder last week. The other day a Syrian came to KidsActivities with his three-year-old twins, he wanted to give me the kids, I told him he had to stay with you, we wouldn’t stay forever.
Where can I get clothes for my children? Is there a school? Can I go to a doctor somewhere outside this camp? Where is there a tent? How can I leave?
He arrived the day before and asked me the classic first questions: Where can I get clothes for my children? Is there a school? Can I go to a doctor somewhere outside this camp? Where is there a tent? How can I leave here? I can only help him sporadically, there is a volunteer doctor who is on Samos, a school for children 7 and older, one for children 12 and older. All are independent organizations.
Clothes are not distributed anywhere. I am sorry, I say. He points to his children, thinks that I might be able to do something after all, but I cannot. He can buy some, from which money? He has to wait 25 days for his paper so that he can apply for a card to have access to the monthly 90 euros. Theoretically he is not allowed to leave the camp for these 25 days anyway. Practically there is no place for him at all to enter the camp, let alone live in it.
Airplanes fly long in the sky, the children scream and cheer, looklook!!! The twins duck, the father caresses their heads, looks at me and says that they are new from Syria. I think I understand. Back to ticketing.
In the morning I see many men in sleeping bags on earth, it is cold and damp, at least no families without a tent, I think. There’s a little boy looking out of his sleeping bag, damn it.
In the morning I see many men in sleeping bags on earth, it is cold and damp, at least no families without a tent, I think. There’s a little boy looking out of his sleeping bag, damn it. They are not the only ones who had to spend the night outside. On Sunday at the beach, volunteers who were in contact with the camp manager told me that the camp no longer had tents, nor did UNHCR. Later we drive to SamosVolunteer’s warehouse. There I see a mountain of tents, a thousand UNHCR blankets, next to a thousand boxes, labeled “Men Shirts Size S, M”, “Women’s Bra’s”, “Baby Jumpers” and so on.
So we have tents in the warehouse, we have a thousand clothes there, toiletries, stationery, blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, bandages, baby suits, winter coats, scarves, caps. However, the camp management forbids us to distribute them.
So we have tents in the warehouse, we have a thousand clothes there, hygiene articles, stationery, blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, bandages, baby suits, winter coats, scarves, caps. However, the camp management forbids us to distribute them. I found a new answer to my question. Why is this woman doing this, what is her purpose? Probably the same as Europe. Let us not make Europe too palatable as a place of refuge. Otherwise they will all come. Disgusting, perhaps I would have preferred not to get an answer. Nobody wants to go to Europe because it sounds like fun. And there the people lie on cold ground, the child coughs, many people cough, many people come to us and ask for a ticket, their wife and children are sick. I am sorry, I say. We wash as fast as we can.
The other day a truck full of donations arrived, it was like Christmas to unpack everything (I never thought I’d ever be so excited and happy about wool, fabrics, toothpaste and flute cleaners). At the same time, it was so depressing and frustrating. So many things we can’t get to grips with. Half jokingly we thought about how we could whisper to the people that the warehouse exists. It’s so easy to break in, we even thought about just leaving the gate open. No matter who “steals” here can use things better than this giant hall, filled with
Boxing and boxing. We have to find a way to cheer things on people without anyone in the camp realizing that SamosVolunteers is distributing things. Again and again we talk about it. Can we cheat clothes into the laundry bags? Can we just put bags of clothes in the vicinity of the camp? Without causing a fight? And without giving the camp management any reason to deprive us of any permission and cooperation? We do not come to any solution. Sarah’s sister from Canada will come here in January to visit her sister and write an article. About the Medicalcenter, so that the connection to SamosVolunteers is not clear and where the author got the information about the conditions in the camp and the background work from. And even though attention is gained, this could exert pressure.
“But that takes time and now it’s cold, now people have no tents, no clothes and no food and even a published article doesn’t change anything groundbreaking.
Terribly enough, people are no longer surprised at how terribly people are treated at this moment in the 21st century.”
But that takes time and now it is cold, now people have no tents, no clothes and no food and even a published article does not change anything groundbreaking. Terribly enough, people are no longer surprised at how terribly people are treated at this moment in the 21st century. We have put together baby bags. With mini diapers, cloths, small blanket, mini jumper, cream. For newborns, the camp management will hardly notice that. Since then I have sent every pregnant woman to the Alpha Centre and told her to pick one up. One woman came today with her newborn baby wrapped in the blanket and brought her friend, they were so grateful. On Saturday we also give a small “welcome gift” to every woman who comes on a women’s afternoon. With soap, bandages, comb, braid rubber, everything we can get rid of without getting into trouble. But that is also the highest thing we can do. People still sleep outside.
We installed a microphone in the youth school, it was donated and not used for a long time, until Onur, a 16-year-old Kurd who is here without a family, wished Sarah to record the songs from the guitar class and also sing them. One day before he was transferred to Athens, we took him and his two (also unaccompanied, minor) friends in. It was so wonderful, they filmed themselves for Instagram and were happy about their voices.In the appendix you can hear Onur and Haydar. They were so excited and grateful. What talented boys!
KidsReadingcircle, every morning at 9am we drive up to camp and sing songs with the sleepy kids, they get warm from the cold night, wash their hands, their faces, we read a story and then you learn a letter. Kidsactivities with up to 90 children now, I love them all.
KidsReadingcircle, every morning at 9am we drive up to the camp and sing songs with the sleepy kids, they get warm from the cold night, wash their hands, their faces, we read a story and then you learn a letter. They are so much more peaceful in the morning than Kidsactivities with up to 90 children in the afternoon, I love them all. Even if they can be devilish.
Djamila from Somalia has been here for half a year and has learned English, Greek and French in six months. Now she teaches Greek at the Alpha Centre and translates for the RefugeeLawClinic. And Berivan from Iraq, the heart of the AlphaCentre and one of the most organized and tough people I know. Both so cordial, funny and pleasant. Berivan has also been transferred to Athens, I hope she is well, her 17 year old brother and her 4 year old brother.
During a walk on Sunday on a far away beach I came across these life jackets. I quickly forget here in contact with the people what their past has left for scars, because so much joy and cordiality is in the foreground.