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I am a Refugee - Samos, Greece

I want to share this beautiful lady with you. She’s really social, she never stops smiling and is always busy volunteering in one of the centres. She speaks a little English, but sometimes we needed the help of Google for pictures of things and sometimes we giggled when we couldn’t understand what each other meant!

I used to help when I was in the as a translator, i know her very well she live up the vills very strong and courageous 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘
— Lilian R

She told me she has 4 children and a husband. It broke my heart to learn she’s separated from her kids who are so young - aged just 8, 5, 3 and a baby of 1. Her sister is looking after them and she simply said ‘no problem’, pointing to her phone ‘I speak to them every day’. She tried to say she was my mama too, so I asked her how old she is. At her 26 to my 43, we laughed at it being the other way around!

Her family could only get enough money for one person to get to Greece and now she’s already been in Samos for 1 year and 1 month alone and her asylum interview isn’t until 2020. Her husband is, I think, in Yemen. All this time she’s lived in a tent on her own in camp. She doesn’t seem to want to share, but she showed me the bites on her arm and drew a picture on the palm of her hand of the bugs biting her. She says she goes to the doctor every day for cream for the itching. And, when the rains came earlier this week she said her khayma (her tent) leaked, and she pulled a face, before quickly smiling with excitement to be getting a cover for it from one of the volunteer groups - a tarpaulin. She was so happy that next time it rains she would be dry so still able to sleep.

I didn’t hear her complain once.

I don’t know what led this fun-loving mama to leave her home and her family behind. But I know I just met one of the bravest, strongest people I’m ever likely to meet.

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