Today is my 18th day volunteering with refugees on the Greek island of #Chios for my #bartrip. With only 2 days left, here are some things I’ve learned:
1. The #global #migrant #crisis is not over. It’s not even abating. This island alone has received more people so far in 2019 than in all of 2018. I have personally been a first responder to 11 rubber dinghy boats arriving on the shores of Chios, making a total of about 400 people.
2. The refugee #camp in Chios is 2000+ people over capacity. Many of the basic supplies, including tents, water, and clothing, along with any specialized supplies for people with particular needs or disabilities, are provided through #donations ...when we have them.* The food provided in the camp has given the refugees boils. The children come to play with us with infected cuts and rotting teeth, but also big hugs and greetings of “My Friends!” The refugees, including families with young children and pregnant women, sleep on the dirt floor and have expanded beyond the boundaries of the camp to sleep and live in empty lots and nearby people’s yards.
3. These are some of the most resilient and driven people I have ever met. They walk for hours in the hot #summer #sun to attend English and French classes with #volunteer #teachers. The #students spend their days practicing their handwriting and preparing their resumes, hoping for the chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. They represent the #hope and #dedication and go-getter #attitude this world needs.
For more information on what I’ve been doing, check out www.cesrt.org.
*We are particularly low on #tents, #crayons, #blankets, #winter clothes, #shoes, #legos, #sleeping bags and #hygiene products/ #toiletries !!! #winteriscoming