Volunteer stories: Hadie and Lucas (Jun 16)

05/07/16

After seven weeks as part of Refugee Support Greece, we leave Alexandreia, Greece.

In the time we were here, a lot has changed. More products in the free shop, a free clothing store, shoe distributions. At the same time it is never enough. When it rains the camp still floods, the mosquitoes remain a major problem and the temperature in the tents – about 60°C – is unreal.

It’s frustrating to work hard to make the situation in the camp better and solve all the problems. You can’t. A familiar sound in the camp is the ringing tone of Skype. Day in and day out, people are trying to reach the asylum service to register. If you’re lucky, you get someone on the line after a month or two. Then a few weeks later you’ll have the interview, and another two months later you’ll get a decision. I just can’t understand that this is the way that Europe is dealing with refugees. What’s going on in Belgium should be mentioned, the refugee crisis is not over. Everyone is stuck in Turkey or Greece.

I’m amazed how resilient people can be. How people can be friendly, how people keep being patient, despite the difficult circumstances. We have so many warm people. It was an honour.

I’m crying for the Syrian people, for Iraq, Afghanistan and all the people from any country punching a high concrete wall looking for safety or a better life.

Refugee Support is an organization that I trust 100%. Volunteers pay for their own accommodation and food, so every Euro goes directly to the people in the camp. It was good to be part of an organization that gets things done, reacts quickly to situations and knows what it’s doing.