So, We have returned to Samos, a beautiful Greek island hosting many refugees fleeing war and conflict and continuing to do so with respect and solidarity . We arrived to a lot of wonderful new faces of both refugee and volunteer … but of course the warmest welcome came from our own colleagues and comrades …
Samos is still in the wake of a recent tragedy where 24 souls lost their lives and whose survivors are still being taken care of on the island . The Aegean sea is rough right now and the weather is cold , wet and windy. All of this means the numbers arriving remain quite low , for now, but regardless, the same help is offered, the same respect shown and the same dignity afforded to those needing solace, sanctuary and help.
Once back on the port, it does not take long to return to getting involved. One of the first jobs I had was to help a medic with a young girl of 9. This beautiful child had arrived on one of the boats from Turkey. The gasoline from the engine was leaking into the crowded boat. She sat for hours on a bench soaked in fuel and ended up with 3rd degree burns on her body. She was so brave as the dressings were changed, the burn washed and dead skin removed. That night I spoke to my sister and told her this story… Her answer , and the answer of any sane person with a conscience..
” It’s just not right, Children shouldn’t know that pain. At 9 years old we didn’t know anguish like that and that’s how it should be”
When it is not raining, India, a wonderful volunteer comes over to the medic cabin armed with paints, pads, colouring pens and toys .. oh and plenty of wet wipes, ..and sets the children up painting, playing, interacting. We could all learn so much from these children. They play together, speak together, paint together regardless of colour, religion, or geology … the only conflict is who paints it better or who took all the red paint. An elderly man from Samos town comes down to hand out oranges picked fresh from his garden. If we have extra, we hand out glasses of milk and biscuits and for a little while they have a “childhood”…
Derek and I managed to replenish the shelves of pampers and milk. The daily distribution of nappies, milk, formula, wipes , baby bottles … whatever we have and whatever is needed continues. More bombs are being dropped, more borders threatening to close, more media feeding pararnoia …. and more people needing help. We continue to do what we can, and we continue to plead for your help to do so…
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