Refugee Support Express – 3 May 2018
WELCOME TO THE REFUGEE SUPPORT EXPRESS
We have lift off!
On Monday, nineteen volunteers set off on the trek of all treks.
For several months, the team have been training and fundraising to raise awareness for refugees, as they prepared to walk the once dangerous route that thousands of refugees took before the northern Greek borders were closed in 2015.
On Monday, the real hard work began.
The team are now on the fourth day of the trek. Co-founder, Paul, has been blogging the journey so far; as the team trace the footsteps of refugees, learn about the devastating history of the refugee route, and learn more about each other.
You can also follow the team’s story on Instagram at @refugeesupporteurope, and learn more about our walkers, who are bonded by their humanitarianism.
The team continue on their incredible journey as we speak, so help us cheer them along by donating towards this fundraiser! Every penny goes towards helping refugees, so please show your solidarity by donating generously.
Standing with refugees podcast
”The ugliest thing was not the physical wounds, but the despair. The utter despair.”
For this week’s podcast, Paul spoke to Zoe Papadopoulou, and incredible woman who has been standing with refugees in Greece since early 2015.
Zoe has been a friend of Refugee Support since 2016, when she was working as the UNHCR officer at Alexandreia camp. However, Zoe’s journey to aid refugees started 18 months before this, and started with one small Facebook post asking for help to support refugees who had just arrived at Idomeni.
Zoe was part of the first response at Idomeni. She has witnessed some devastating sights, but she has also witnessed and played a crucial part in the collective human solidarity displayed by thousands of local Greek people who gave aid to tens of thousands of refugees long before the government, other agencies, or international volunteers stepped in. For many refugees, who undertook exhausting journeys to reach Idomeni (some walking over 600km from Athens with children and bags), the journey had only just begun. Unfortunately, for many, that journey continues even today.
Zoe has continued to stand with and raise awareness for refugees throughout enormous upheavals in the rural Greek community, and is one of the world’s true humanitarians. In this stunning, epic podcast, she reflects with Paul and John on the beginning of her volunteer journey in 2015, when Idomeni was nothing but an empty field. We recommend having tissues on hand for this quietly poignant and honest podcast.
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STAYING INFORMED – WHAT WE’RE READING
This week, we’ve been reading about the arrival of 2,900 refugees crossing from Turkey to Greece via the treacherous river Evros this month.
As the camps at Fylakio and various police detention centres (which are over capacity and underequipped to shelter refugees) struggle to cope with this influx of arrivals (the number over half of the expected arrivals in 2017) the UNHCR have put out an urgent appeal to reunite unaccompanied children with their families, provide safe, basic shelter for refugees, and enhance the reception capacity of the Reception and Identity centers.
Eight people have died this year crossing the river Evros. Change needs to happen to stop refugees being forced to take this dangerous action to access safety.
Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.
Please contact us today at [email protected] if you would like to help raise awareness for refugees, or just want to get in touch.