Since our last post, 180 people have arrived at 7 different landing which the team have attended, including 4 in less than 24 hours.
As always we gave aid and smiles and we cleaned all the beaches after the landings.
People continue to take the risk to come here and worryingly many people were very wet and cold at the most recent landings. The conditions at sea, for the un-seaworthy boats upon which they are put on, were awful.
We are simply glad that they were ok, and that we were able to help them a little bit in the challenging moments they faced into.
Unfortunately the situation they will find in the camp is ceaseless… To improve the overall situation there is so little we can do aside from calling on our European partners to allow people to have a safe passage into Europe so they are not risking their lives to arrive to ‘safety’. We should also push governments to take in more people and reduce the number of refugees in Greece, in particular on the massively overcrowded islands. The islands are under huge pressure, and we witness the symptoms of this in the form of protests from both refugees and locals.
In the last week we received a 40 foot (12 metre) container full of men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, shoes, food, nappies and hygiene products. This container will stay at the warehouse and will be used as extra storage space .The team has been particularly busy this week sorting through the donations in the container, as well as restocking the van numerous times because of landings. In addition to this, distribution packs have also been prepared in the warehouse to give to those living in apartments.
Despite all this work, we still managed to support REFUGEE BIRYANI & BANANAS with 8 bags of men’s shoes and also IRIS CENTRE with 32 boxes and 20 bags of children’s clothes and shoes.
It really has been an intense week in the warehouse but the team worked fantastically hard, enabling us to reach out to those that need it most.
Despite having to cancel one Vial Cleaning Session this week because of a Landing, we have made progress during the times which we have been present. We are so thankful to our regular team who support us on camp, without them we are without knowledge, purpose or impact.
Apartment Distribution updates :
This week we distributed nappies, wet wipes, washing powder, towels, hygiene packs, suitcases, rucksacks, fresh socks, duvets, baby grows and pillows, as well as bars of chocolate & baby food to 13 families living in accommodation throughout Chios. We also gave sleeping mats, a blow-up bed & pump, and maternity to clothes to families who specifically asked.
Meeting all of the needs will never be possible.
Often we receive items of a very high standard that are not useable in landings, including jeans, button-up tops, suitcases, pillows and duvets. We divert many of these items to other organisations who distribute them to the people in Vial and to the official housing units for refugees throughout the island. The bottomline is the items get to the people who need them, and we delighted to cooperate with so many actors on the island.
We have this project, to provide to people who need our support. We make our best efforts to give everyone what they need, with what we have.
Most of the self-funded houses we visit are over crowded, with people sleeping on floors or sharing single matresses with their friends.
We have many requests from people, we are always working on it to deliver something useful, something that will give people one, however small, less thing to worry about this week.
After installing the last steps we have had requests from camp residents to put in even more steps. We hope to begin plans for these steps in the coming week as they are required in more difficult positions.
Planning for the wall at the top of the football stand is also in place. We hope this week to give the wall another coat of white paint and have camp residents help us in painting flowers to make it a more pleasant area to sit and socialize.
We have begun going twice a week to maintain the football stand area. Having painted the steps we hope to maintain this area to keep it clean for people to use. Twice a week we now go to clean the stand and clear out the drain of rubbish and mud to ensure it continues to function.
Language Educational Day Trips Update (February 12th and 14th):
This week we were delighted to take two more groups of students on day trips. In total, 72 students attended the trips this week. We visited the mastic museum and the village of Pyrgi.
As before, the excursions started with an introduction on the bus about Greece, its flag, inhabitants and islands. The students also learnt more about Chios, its geographical characteristics, economy and, as an introduction to the museum, learnt about the production of mastic.
Once again the days were filled with knowledge sharing, laughters, photos and even songs and dance! Our students enjoyed it very much.
Our tour guide was fantastic and definitely made all the trips very enjoyable and of great quality! We – the students and the team – offered her a thank you card to show our gratitude.
As the previous days, we finished the excursion with coffee and tea at the main square of Pyrgi. All the students received their study packs.
We are very pleased that our students got the opportunity to discover Chios island further. All of our registered students, from all levels, got a chance to attend the excursions. In total, 142 students participated over the four trips. Considering the success of these day trips, we are hoping to be able to do it again in the near future. A big thanks to the CESRT/Offene Arme e.V donors for making these trips possible. They have made a big difference in these last couple of weeks for all our students.