Since the formation of the very first team in 2015, thousands of volunteers have contributed their time, energy, kindness and resources to provide direct humanitarian aid. It was our aim to meet the immediate needs of refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Chios after life threatening boat journeys across the Aegean Sea from Turkey.
We were a First Response Team operating 24/7. When the team went “On Call” they were available for the whole 24 hour shift, responding immediately at any time of the day or night to a landing. A landing could either be on the shore line of Chios, a beach or roadside, or by police transfer to Chios Port.
We worked in collaboration with the medical team SMH (Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario) in providing a space for those in need of urgent medical care to be examined and given emergency treatment. It was SMH who informed us of any landings. Once SMH contacted us, we made our way to the location given.
Our van was always fully stocked with clothing, food, blankets, diapers… All the necessary supplies that would be needed to distribute to the men, women and children who had just arrived by difficult and dangerous boat crossing. They were met warmly by the team – albeit in very challenging conditions – and we began distributing direct and immediate aid efficiently and calmly.
After each landing we always cleaned the area of any garbage, took the life jackets, and located the boat. The boats were cut into pieces and taken back to our warehouse where it was then sent to the German organization Mimyrci, who used them for recycling projects.