The area for today’s distro was on the left of camp right next to the road and closer to the town. Omar had already been through this area with the tarpaulins and lots of the tents feel bigger and more homely structures than in the other overspill area we were in yesterday. However, I also find this area much darker.
Today we spent the day with the brilliant team at Samos Volunteers. After learning the ropes in the laundry we headed to The Alpha Centre where more than 500 pass through their doors every day. They can drink tea, play games, read books, learn and charge their phones. When you walk into Alpha there are guys everywhere!
Another busy day in the Refugee 4 Refugees shop. The brand new bras and knickers for the women, as well as the jumpers, scarf and sleeping bags of course, are so popular and so we opened the doors at 9am to a queue outside and lots of new registrations (registrating people as Anne calls it!). It’s great because it means word has spread in the Camp and the women really want what we’re giving out.
As we drove from the volunteer house in the morning, I was struck again by the camp on the hillside. No more than a blip, a little strip of blue and white canvas above the town. When we give out tickets, not everyone shows up, but ‘show rates’ this week for the jumpers, socks, underwear, bra and sleeping bags / shelter suits has been about 80-90%. And there’s lots of women coming to register too.
It looks like a refugee camp bordering Syria, yet this is Europe. The hotspot on Samos is managed by the Greek government and funded by the European Union, but it's illegal. Welcome to Europe's shame. Share the truth on the Samos hotspot and show the world what people here have to endure everyday. 4400 people live trapped in a space built for 650. 1500 of these are children…
Chios is snowing and there is a desperate need to buy blankets for people in the refugee camp. People live in tents and sleep right on the plastic bottom of the tent. People are shaking with cold when they queue. At the last delivery I had a warm scarf that I used to warm ice-cold hands with. If you want to be a fellow man then this is the right moment.