Urgent Need on Lesbos: Refugee Aid .Diary-Day 7, 12 Dec. Lesvos, Greece 2015

By Alan Stone

Today was a real mix of tasks. First thing was to obtain some cold medicines from the nearby pharmacy for Terry's ever-worsening cough and sore-throat. I expect she's down for the remainder of our time here. We leave on Friday and I don't see a quick recuperation. In fact, I'm anticipating a quick trip to the doctor in the morning.
Task two was picking up our friend Mary-Ellen from the ferry terminal. Mary-Ellen is an American who works for the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia. She's a Servas member and was doing some work at a school in Turkey before coming here to see how she can help.
The ferry from Turkey was quite late so I missed my scheduled meeting at the Pipka camp at 11 to report on my findings regarding their warehouse issues. There are numerous warehouses scattered around the Mytilini area that service various camps and it takes time to learn where they all are located. Moria Camp, for example has a couple of warehouse locations they draw from, as does Pipka and the Syiran camp. They all need serious help with organization and sorting. There is a lot of duplication of effort, as well.
Pipka (if I'm even spelling that correctly) is a camp especially designed for families and children who have been traumatized during their trip to Greece. So far I've only made one brief visit. That was Friday morning. It's a sprawling location just north of the airport and actually has cabins and large tents for families, a full working kitchen, wash-up sinks, and toilets. It seems like a well-organized set-up. Their warehouse not far out of town needs work, however and that's what I hope to be able to help. This morning I arranged for them to connect with the Moria warehouse so they could take some overflow supplies there for sorting. The Pipka warehouse needs space in order to begin a proper storage system. They also need shelving which I hope I can help them obtain on Monday (everything is closed on Sunday). The shelving that was purchased for the Moria warehouse ended up in the medical tent at the Moria Camp so at least we know it went for a good cause. And, I also understand the new PA system amplifier was delivered and will be up and running soon, as well.
Included in this post are couple of photos I shot on Friday of a clown troupe that has been performing for children at various camps. The photos show a small section of the camp. Hopefully I'll have more tomorrow.
By the way, this work at the camps and warehouses is the not-so-glamorous part of the refugee volunteer work. It's the part that doesn't make the news as much as the videos and photos you see of the boat loads of men, women and children stumbling ashore, wet and shivering, children crying and the rush to warm them all and get them dry. This is the real day-to-day, all night, hours without eating work that thousands of volunteers are doing every day, all day to help people feel safe and as comfortable as possible for just a few moments in time before they move on to what can very easily become even more suffering and disappointment.

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About Georgia Bairami

H αγάπη για τον τόπο μας είναι δείγμα πολιτισμού.Τίποτα δε μας ανήκει όλα είναι δανεικά και τα οφείλουμε στις γενιές που ακολουθούν..
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