Posted on February 28, 2017
Where do we start? Obviously, everything we have read, seen and heard on the news about the refugees is not what we see with our own eyes. Nor can we take photographs because in front of us we have real people and not just stories to tell. Skaramanga is a town of containers inhabited by circa 3400 people, about 50% of them Syrians and the rest half Iraqui/Kurds and Afghans. Everybody is waiting. They are waiting to see if they are allowed to restart their lives so abruptly interrupted. University students who want to start to hope again. Children born in the war, who really want to go to school, people who want to work to sustain their families. To photograph them feels like a crude imposition. Everybody greets you with a smile. They ask you where you come from and they thank you to be there with them. The vitality of 1700 children and minors is almost tangible and sometimes turns to violence. You can’t imagine what they have seen and heard, how much fear they have felt and how they absorb the anxiety of the adults around them. You see people looking into space and you imagine them prisoners of their own anguish. Worst of all are the men, who have no roles nor responsibilities, cannot protect their families nor can they provide for them. Teenagers had to put a stop to their projects, hopes and dreams and are now immobilized. Everyone is waiting to live their present and their future. Skaramanga is the best, most organized and desirable refugees camp in Greece. Those people are the privileged ones. Imagine the rest...
In all this, and thanks to the fact that we have wonderful and generous friends, we have been able to bring a bit of relief and some practical help in this ‘temporary town’. Your support was welcomed with enthusiasm and gratitude. We have listened to the real needs of the people, especially young mothers, but also to those responsible for the camp, and this what we have been able to distribute:
Many, many pairs of shoes for children.
New and second-hand clothes for children and adults. Underwear for adults and children
Pregnancy pack including suitable clothes for mother and baby, nursing bras, and other suitable items
Lots of fabric for the sewing workshop which has a three weeks long waiting list as so many people want to make, mend or personalize their given clothes
Cupboard, shelves and containers for the English class, the most sought after in the camp
Stationary, pens and paper, school kits, games, knitting material, make up and one computer
In the warehouse we have sorted second hand goods donated from many countries, selecting, washing and drying good quality clothes that were not suitable for distribution because slightly soiled. Thus we were able to recycle circa 700 Kg of clothes to be distributed nationally.
All this thanks to all of you! Annamaria and Olimpia