Support the Needs of Refugees in Greece

Support the Needs of Refugees in Greece

From Ariadne Papagapitos

Help mitigate the refugee crisis in Greece.

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Update #1

over 4 years ago

Dear friends,

I have been moved by your support and enthusiasm for this initiative -- thank you!

I left Leros quickly to go to Eidomeni, at the border of Greece and FYR Macedonia, where the needs are greater. There are around 15,000 people camped out here in terrible conditions waiting for the border to open so that they might continue their journey. There are also several other informal camps in the area in gas stations, hotels, and parking lots. Refugees stuck here are in a kind of limbo and it is unclear where they will end up as there are few supportive governments, little infrastructural or legal support, and few roads out of Greece other than back to Turkey even though many have family in Western Europe.

Piraeus, the port of Athens, has approximately 5,000 refugees living in a truly unbearable situation. While the Greek government and Greeks themselves are doing all they can, providing shelter, support, and sympathy, they are hamstrung by their own economic difficulties and nonexistent or misguided EU policies including the deal struck with Turkey on 20 March.

Volunteers from across Europe are helping make day-to-day life more bearable by filling immediate needs through kitchens, clothing and medical supplies distribution, etc. I am using some of the funds you helped me raise to run a tea stand that gives out over 2,000-3,000 cups of hot tea per evening (it's cold here!), which will be passed on to other volunteers to sustain.

Human lives and welfare have got to become the drivers of policy and government action if these kinds of tragedies are going to end. In the meantime, let's help keep these people's stories at the top of international agendas until a solution is found. And for those of us in the US, let's push our government to take in more refugees -- it goes without saying that the US can and should be doing at least that.

With appreciation,
Ariadne

More Info

Some 2,000 refugees are arriving to Greece's Aegean islands each day. Refugees are housed in "Hotspots" — EU funded processing centers — and makeshift camps. Leros has a tradition of hosting hard-pressed outsiders — from exiled opponents of Greece’s 1970s military junta to scores of mental patients at the country’s largest psychiatric asylum.  With an already decaying infrastructure, Leros is currently one of the hardest-hit islands by the refugee crisis.

Leros Solidarity Network (https://www.facebook.com/lerossn) is one local organization that is working around the clock to ease refugees' passage into Greece and the EU.  Humanitarian needs in Leros are deep, ranging from food to blankets and medical supplies.

I will spend a couple of weeks volunteering on Leros and am raising money from friends to purchase supplies locally to support direct needs. Any amount is welcome!

Thank you. 

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Ariadne Papagapitos posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #1

Dear friends,

I have been moved by your support and enthusiasm for this initiative -- thank you!

I left Leros quickly to go to Eidomeni, at the border of Greece and FYR Macedonia, where the needs are greater. There are around 15,000 people camped out here in terrible conditions waiting for the border to open so that they might continue their journey. There are also several other informal camps in the area in gas stations, hotels, and parking lots. Refugees stuck here are in a kind of limbo and it is unclear where they will end up as there are few supportive governments, little infrastructural or legal support, and few roads out of Greece other than back to Turkey even though many have family in Western Europe.

Piraeus, the port of Athens, has approximately 5,000 refugees living in a truly unbearable situation. While the Greek government and Greeks themselves are doing all they can, providing shelter, support, and sympathy, they are hamstrung by their own economic difficulties and nonexistent or misguided EU policies including the deal struck with Turkey on 20 March.

Volunteers from across Europe are helping make day-to-day life more bearable by filling immediate needs through kitchens, clothing and medical supplies distribution, etc. I am using some of the funds you helped me raise to run a tea stand that gives out over 2,000-3,000 cups of hot tea per evening (it's cold here!), which will be passed on to other volunteers to sustain.

Human lives and welfare have got to become the drivers of policy and government action if these kinds of tragedies are going to end. In the meantime, let's help keep these people's stories at the top of international agendas until a solution is found. And for those of us in the US, let's push our government to take in more refugees -- it goes without saying that the US can and should be doing at least that.

With appreciation,
Ariadne

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