Yesterday was my final day in Greece visiting refugees at camps. We left Alexandria early in the morning, it was very hard to leave our friends. But we were excited to get on the road and bring aid to camps we knew were in desperate need. The other girls on my team had taken a long hard trip yesterday to Jumbo, a huge store here in Greece to buy inexpensive shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, diapers, soap, and other needed supplies. They worked so hard, and packed the van to the brim with aid, and visited another camp while I was fitting shoes and carriers the day before.
We set off around 8:30 in the morning for a camp we had never been to, but we heard had around 300 people and not many supplies. My team leader Jill had been communicating with some of the refugees we met at a camp on the first day, in a camp that was supposedly being closed, and indeed these families had been moved to this new camp.
When we pulled into the camp and we’re dealing with the police guard there we were also greeted by our friend Muhammad and his wife, who were eager to help us unload the van along with many other men.
When we got into their warehouse, it was heartbreaking to see how little they had there, when my team members and I know that there is an aid warehouse full of donated supplies here in Greece, and the system just lacked the logistics and the funds to get it all where it needed to go. Our hearts ached and screamed at the injustice.
But we unloaded professionally quick, made our drop, and moved on to the next task at hand, back to a camp we had visited on the first day, with more requested supplies.
On the winding drive up the mountain to where this camp is located, I secretly wished that my dear little friend that I had made on our first visit would somehow by chance be nearby the warehouse when we unloaded. As we pulled into camp and found our new contact there, we had several young men and boys arrive at the warehouse to help us unload the van quickly and peacefully.
My little friend wasn’t around, but one of her friends was, and I gave her a little extra loving hug and it felt so good.
Then is was off to Athens – to cap off our trip – with a quick stop on the way back for a relaxing lunch on the beach. At our hotel last night we had a debriefing with Rita of Allied Aid and discussed how we learned so much, and made plans for how things could be done in the future to meet more needs faster and more efficiently, and with more dignity for the refugees.
As I write this entry this morning on my way to the airport to fly home, all I can think of is “what else can we do to help these suffering brothers and sisters of ours?”
Answer : whatever you can, just please don’t forget them, do something! Even if it is just sharing their stories.
Thank you for bearing witness.
If you want to volunteer, Check out:
Nurture project international (lactation experts especially but experienced moms wanted)