Little Clara Hessos was born in the Softex camp, in terrible conditions here she is 3 months old.
Finally, after three long weeks of hard work, two more families have moved into apartments in the village in the northern Goumenissa, Greece, away from the miserable military controlled camps.
Thanks to the amazing volunteers on the ground in Greece, Jonny, Dirk, Maria, Sally and several other wonderful people who make up our little volunteer group Share The Magic. Doctors without Borders have helped by donating furniture for the apartment.
Only a few days ago the Shamuo family, a Syrian Kurdish family, moved into one of the apartments. The family are Jwan and Gulistan, Grandma, and two beautiful daughters, Ajeen and Kajeen. The family have lived in several different camps with their small children for over a year, each camp worse than the other, with terribly tough conditions. They have not slept in real beds since they fled their home in Aleppo. They have been through indescribable hardship that no human being should ever have to experience, let alone children.
In the camps there are between 500 and 16,000 people. Mrs. Shamuo says: “I can’t believe I finally get to cook food myself without having to queue for food. To take a shower with hot water, in private, and not have to share dirty toilets with hundreds of other people.”
These basic things give us human beings our dignity- and it is hard for most of us to imagine now having them. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project to make it possible to move even a few families out of the camps. We wish that we could help everyone, but we are also very grateful and happy that we can help someone at all.
We will continue to support various projects inside the camps, such as the Children’s Art Project that Jonny has started in Kalachori camp.
The family Idres move away from Softex to a better camp. You might remember the Idres family from Homs with their three children and 3-month old baby Clara who lives in the Softex camp? Several of you wanted to help them in any way possible. Jonny and Maria went over to them with some clothes last week, which they were thrilled about. And now, thanks to Maria and Sally’s amazing network, they have managed to find a place for them in a much better camp run by the Swiss Red Cross. We have contact with a volunteer there who runs a small tent school for both children and adults, and also runs other activities in that camp to try and help make everyday life in the camp better, during a long and uncertain wait for the EU to decide their future.
Military controlled squalor. In the military controlled Softex camp, conditions are pretty bleak. The Idris family should be allowed to leave it behind in a couple of weeks. This camp has a really bad reputation. It is actually controlled by the state but it’s the military who runs the camp. The EU has give sanction for Greece to “take care” of all the refugees, while politicians squabble and disagree on which countries should receive them. The Greek military are not the ones limiting their freedom to apply for asylum and their human dignity. The squalor of these camps is a direct consequence of the fact that the EU has accepted closed borders, leaving people in limbo, in Greece, for an indefinite period of time. I still get deeply disappointed, however, by the quality of the sub-standard camps run by the Greek military given the financial support they have received from the EU.