Volunteer stories: Anabel (Jan 17)

30/01/17

I decided to fight against this unfair situation I had heard so much about, I left for Greece, to the Alexandria camp, where 400-500 refugees live.

I began my first day in the camp mentally ready for the worst as volunteer of the Refugee Support NGO.

The camp is occupied by a hundred of caravans which are kitchens, living rooms, dressing rooms and bedrooms, where the people who live in the camp stay. Other than that, there’s also a community room where they can spend their free time dancing, playing, listening to music, smoking shisha or drinking chai. At night this room is turned into a cafeteria where they eat the sirian dishes who cook Faris, his wife and two volunteers.

I thought I was ready to handle anything, but once there, I realised one is never ready to handle this situation. I exchanged the tv screen for the hard reality, and I began to think how different are things when seen from afar.

The day was not stressful but we didn’t stop for a second, which made you have your mind occupied all the time, but in my case, there was always a comment, a story, a look or a detail which for a second moved me to tears, making me clash against reality again.

It was shocking to hear all the stories they had lived, from the moment they had arrived there to the realisation that many had not reached their destiny.

What really caused an impact on me was the attitude they all had, the fact they had nothing and would give you everything, the generosity with which they received you and the fact you could feel like one of them, to the point of wanting to learn about their culture, customs and even language.

An experience which was soothed by being surrounded every day by the magnificent volunteers, sharing emotions, experiences and laughter. It will be impossible to forget, so I would like to thank both the people who live in the camp, for being the most human and to the volunteers who made me believe in that humanity, because together with small things we can create big things, and we must.