(Lesvos, Greece) — Inside the gates of Moria Refugee Camp on the island of Lesvos, there are locked gates for some people’s protection. There are wire fences. There are rows of temporary housing units stacked inside with bunk beds where thousands of people are waiting. They wait for months on end for word of their future. Moria is both a refugee camp and a processing center for the refugees who make their way across the Aegean Sea to the shores of Lesvos, and it is the first stop for many on a long journey to a new life in Europe. The residents inside describe it as “no good” “prison” and “Hell.”
A family of 5 has been stuck living in Kara Tepe Refugee Camp for eight months along with 795 other refugees. The Habash family consists of father Mahar; mother Mitzen, and siblings Dlara, Dhash & Ghan. The Habash family is Kurdish and they are from Aleppo, Syria. Their story is common to the refugees across Greece who choose to move on from their temporary refugee rather than settling here.
(Athens, Greece) — Tucked away in the busy streets of Athens, Melissa Day Center is a place where refugee women can go for the day to escape the monotony of life in the refugee camps. The day center, founded by Nina Christopolou, strives to provide refugee women with a sense of normalcy and community while offering language and psychosocial activities. This video takes you on a look inside.
(Athens, Greece) – The Asylum Services of Greece already has plenty on its plate. Since 2013 the service has found itself with over 100,000 asylum applications to process. More than 80% of those 102,000 asylum applications have been received in just the past year and a half. The numbers of refugees seeking Greek asylum skyrocketed when the borders to Europe were cut off.
(Athens, Greece)–Refugee camps all over Greece are implementing programs geared towards women while they await their fates in Europe. The women, from across several Middle Eastern nations know that the language and cultural practices of their new homes will be far different from what they know. Women’s programs for refugees across Greece are trying to address those concerns. The story of those efforts can be seen in the faces of those involved. Continue reading Female refugees prepare for a new life far from home→
(Athens, Greece) — Media reports of the refugee crisis have drawn thousands of volunteers from around the world. They come because they don’t want to simply sit back and watch tragedy unfold without doing something to help. A case in point is a group of of young people who came from Portugal hearing word about refugees who had moved into Athens’ defunct school building #5 as a place of temporary refuge. Here are their stories:
Organized football (soccer) at Greece’s refugee camps is now being offered as a means of escape from boredom and depression for residents who wait months or years for word on a future home.
At the Ritsona refugee camp on Greece’s mainland, the ‘Cafe Rits’ football team sponsored by the Cafe Rits NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) has turned semi-pro, with the refugee team sparing against other Greek teams. Those watching the effort say it has not only created a sense of community in the camp, but given the young players a sense of purpose.
(Ritsona Refugee Camp, Greece)— Eighteen year old Malak Othman sits in a Greek refugee camp these days reflecting on her life five years ago. When she was 13, she fled her home in Syria. She joined thousands of others in a dangerous journey across the Aegean Sea, all in hopes of a better life, of a new home where should live independently and safely.