Surely if the men in camp didn’t want or need what we’re giving out, they wouldn’t use their valuable energy climbing to the top of the camp to get it? They wouldn’t join yet another line, when they already spend so much of their lives in one - for food, for asylum, for everything.
Standing outside in a dusty clearing following a simple and fair registration process so that more than 1,000 men can receive much-needed aid of t-shirt, trousers, underwear, socks and a jumper. This is our first day of distribution at the Vathy Refugee Camp on the Greek island of Samos where people are living in appalling conditions, without even the most basic services.
We’ve been a bit quiet for the last few weeks so here’s a quick update of what we’ve been up to. Thanks to YOUR donations over the last few months (since January 11th), we have been able to… have 29 people participate in our employability program, where we provide a personalised service, helping people one-on-one with their CVs, cover letters and job searches…
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.
What a great day today! Maybe it was the bright Greek sunshine lifting the mood? It was a busy start at the Refugee 4 Refugees shop as a queue was waiting when we arrived. The women happily took a pen whilst they were being registered and, instead of kids’ drawings, Anne’s scribbling wall was soon full of lovely messages in French, Arabic and a little English.
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!