Volunteer stories: Peter (Sep 19)

18/09/19

Peter volunteered for our final 2 weeks at Katsikas in Greece with his daughter Beatrice and put together this brilliant photo essay of their experience.

Peter Hutton volunteer story

Peter also works with the Scouts in the UK and has written this poignant poem for them to recite and perform:

The Refugee

Imagine you’re a male just turned fifteen
In a country where the military rules
The president fixes the elections
And treats all his citizens as fools

You are shot at and later arrested
Thrown in prison without any rights
Tortured and fed very poorly
Sleeping on stone floors for night after night

Or imagine you write for a newssheet
And dare to expose evil deeds
Of the corrupt politicians and their cronies
Who care nothing of their people’s needs

Each night you sleep very poorly
Fearing the knock on the door
Before being dragged out, questioned and beaten
As so many have been before

Or imagine you have a young daughter
With ambition to study and learn
Then the Taliban close down her school room
And make death threats should she ever return

Or imagine you are trapped in a city
Bombed daily by enemies unknown
Most of your family are missing
You dream of escaping and having a home

Many millions of people just like these
Have fled to seek a new life
Escaping the corruption and tyranny
That lies at the root of their strife

Many trek thousands of miles
Reaching the Aegean sea
Where the smugglers say they will transport them
To freedom in exchange for a fee

They are crammed into a dinghy
That was meant to take twenty-four
With their families and 40-odd others
Then abandoned six miles from shore

The lucky ones arrive in Lesbos
An island belonging to Greece
And escorted to a large camp in Moira
By a contingent of armed police

Many are intercepted in waters
Not far from whence they came
Then taken back into Turkey
Only later to try once again

The unlucky ones never make it
As their crafts succumb to the sea
The cynical acts of their smugglers
Have determined they can never be free

The arrivals will soon discover
Their camps are not what they sought
Living in overcrowded containers
Disheartened, abandoned, distraught

Three weeks ‘temporary’ accommodation,
Can stretch on for months, then for years
As their requests for asylum are processed
Hoping that somebody cares

They wish for a life full of meaning
Of education, employment, a home
To be treated with fairness and dignity
To marry and have families of their own

Rejected, forgotten, exploited
Barriers to all they want to be
A life of frustration and boredom
The life of the Refugee