Since April last year the situation has considerably changed and it is constantly evolving. The future prospects do not suggest big improvements in terms of life quality of the thousand people who are forced to live in the camps.
The access to the Diavata camp, where we operated daily and with constancy, was denied to all the NGOs working on the Greek territory. We have been forced to adapt to the bureaucratic restrictions ensuring our presence also in other refugee’s camps.
Our team stands out for its ability to adapt, in a very short time, to a changing operating environment, offering every type of assistance, quickly and on a larger scale. In fact, the QRT intervenes in order to guarantee the support for different types of needs, ranging from basic assistance (accommodation, food and first medical assistance) to those considered primary (development in family and social relations) and secondary (problem solving, emotional support and basic education).
In which camps does the QRT work?
Right now, we operate in Diavata, Serres, Volvi, Alexandria, Nea Kavala, Veria, Kavala and Lagadikia.
In these refugee camps, there is almost nothing organized, not even a place for families with small children who are then forced to share camping tents in tough climatic conditions, the cold winters and the hot summers.
Arrivals continue unabated with refugees reaching the camps after difficult journeys of thousands miles. They usually arrive in Greece crossing the Evros, a river that forms a natural border with Turkey. Many times we have been confronted with families who, during their journey to Europe, have lost loved ones. However, the great sorrow and discouragement are not enough to undermine the sense of resilience that characterize many life stories that we work with every day.
Every day we are in contact with people with too tired eyes, aching feet and legs. We listen to the stories they tell us with their feeble voice left. We can sense their anger for unjustified injustice, trying to cure those wounds that never seem to heal.
How many people are we talking about? In November 2018 the numbers were: Diavata 1200 people, Serres 1140, Volvi 900, Alexandria 1100, Nea Kavala 1300, Kavala 600, Lagadikia 650 and for Veria there are no official records but according to the latest survey there are about 700 people.
How do we go on? We make it with the strength that often comes from them, from those smiles, from those small signs that make us hold on and tell ourselves “yes, this road is the right one”.