Hoy comparto el testimonio de Florian, un chico de Suiza con el que conviví en la casa de voluntarios de Kitrinos Healthcare. Él no era sanitario pero se unió al equipo Kitrinos con un proyecto de actividades deportivas que realizaba con los jóvenes del campo de refugiados de Sinatex. Yo fui testigo de su gran labor con esos chicos, conseguía levantar su ánimo y hacer que se divirtieran a pesar de la situación que estaban viviendo. Pero también ha colaborado con otras asociaciones realizando diversos trabajos durante su larga estancia en Grecia. Te dejo unas reflexiones que escribió al volver a su país: (recuerda que el blog tiene traductor por si lo necesitas)
Three days have passed since I came back after my long stay in Greece and my work at Northern Lights aid. It feels good to see my family and friends again. On the other hand, I think of the people I left behind.
The boarding of an airplane, an ordinary activity for Western citizens, made me suddenly realize how privileged I am. I can travel to any place in the world, whenever I want and arrange my life as I wish . This is not the case for the people who I met in the refugee camps, which have been stuck for more than six months at the outer borders of Europe after fleeing a brutal war. Europe seals off itself. Governments prefer to invest huge sums in the construction of walls and additional border security, than to support the truly sufferers. A cloud of irrational fears beleaguers the West, fears of foreign infiltration, terrorism and loss of prosperity. The refugees are seen as a problem to be moved out of the European borders. The fact that these are human beings goes forgotten. One does not want all this suffering in the own country and is therefore willing to sacrifice human lives. Those who survived the war and the dangerous escape, now find themselves in a camp managed by the Greek government.
Article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The people in the camps are not free. They are indeed allowed to leave the camps, but where? The borders are closed, in the homeland there is a war and without a work permit they cannot build their own independent existence. This is kind of imprisonment, to which the refugees are subject. Those who visited once such a camp quickly realized that this is a life far from any human dignity. The deficiencies in the various camps are endless. If a camp suffers of adequate medical care, residents in another camp are exposed to the daily stench from an adjacent incinerator. Other Camps are flooded due to lack of sewers, while elsewhere camp inhabitants are tormented by bed lice and mosquitoes. However, what is common to most camps is the inadequate food supply. Admittedly nobody starves is in the camps, but the food supply lacks essential vitamins and minerals, which entails particularly serious consequences for pregnant women or infants. This is just a sample of the problems. The Greek government is overwhelmed and has been abandoned by the remaining European states. Volunteers try to prevent the worst while doing what the international community actually should be responsible for.
Worse than the limited infrastructure of the camps is the psychological pressure that the refugees face daily. In addition to the endured traumatic experiences, their helplessness and ignorance about their future burdens further their psyche. The people are delivered to the decisions of politicians, who will decide at an uncertain time about their future. The refugees are condemned to wait in an environment that discourages any activities. Idleness can be a very cruel torture. I had the opportunity to work during the second half of my stay in one of the «better» camps. This allowed me to carry out various physical activities with the camp residents. I was rarely met with so much gratitude in my life as at this time.
I traveled for the first time to Greece about five months ago. The idea came to me after a long talk with my former boss who had already volunteered herself. I was always aware of the events outside the European borders but knowingly ignored and accepted them as some of the many injustices in this world. Shortly after that conversation I made some research in the internet and then booked a flight to Greece. My stay in Greece confirmed my previous impression that as an individual I can certainly make a little difference, even if only for ten young people who I can inspire with a workout training for a short while. Since my first visit I have conducted various activities in the camps. Part of those activities I had never faced before, like digging and concreting sewers. I assisted in the construction of a school and shady covers. I further brought relief supplies to the people and carried out various entertainment activities. During nights I supplied tents to newcomers. I drove refugees that had been beaten by the Macedonian military to the hospital. In the warehouse I picked out from various donations needed supplies and brought them personally to families. The tasks to conduct are widely different, ranging from aid distribution to management of activities or lectures to the construction of buildings. There is a task for everyone and anyone’s skills can be successfully utilized. It does not take much to be helpful, the will is usually already sufficient. Those who do not find the work in a camp appealing but still would like to help may assist a local organization at home or support with donations. Here I can warmly recommend Northern Lights Aid.
Just because the conditions are as they currently are, does not mean that they are right. Neither should we accept them. I wish an active empathy that looks beyond the own fence.