Every Refugee has a Story

Everything is a bit chaotic, but at the same time everything flows and A LOT is achieved. It is quite impressive.”

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Syrian refugee family after arriving on the Greek Island of Kos. Photo: ibtimes.co.uk

TVSet has a friend helping refugees on the Greek island of Kos. She is sending us updates of her work and the situation on the island. Our thanks to Barbara and all the other volunteers that are trying to ease the journey of refugees fleeing war and persecution. And we offer a reminder that it the moral and legal duty of each country to welcome refugees. To read more about Barbara’s journey and the refugee crisis, read the October 4 TVSet blog.

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Refugees arrive on Kos having traveled across the Mediterranean in a small dinghy. Photo: ibtimes.co.uk

October 6, 2015

We just moved to a new warehouse and I have been sorting used clothes most of the time. Also, I have been helping with food distribution. In the evening, many of us go to the port to see off refugees who leave with the ferry to Athens at 8 pm. We take jackets, sweaters and shoes because it is colder in Athens. As far as we know, there is little help in Athens. Also, we distribute a brochure that helps them orient themselves in Athens. Most refugees stay on Kos for 2-3 days only.

There are handicapped people here who can barely walk who do not get special aid!! How are they going to make the long journey?

Last night I went to the port at [12:00 a.m.] just to get a taste of the night shift. Between midnight and [1 a.m.] about 20 people arrived, most of them Pakistanis. At night we distribute water, some food, clothes for those who are wet. There are two night shifts, 12-4 a.m., 4-9 a.m. About 8 people should be in each shift because people arrive in throngs often.
I left around 1:30 am. I leave the night work to young people. Many of them work round the clock during the time they are here. Lots of Swedish volunteer. That country is impressive!

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Refugees finding brief refuge on Kos. Photo: dailymail.co.uk

There is a lack of good management, which is not surprising given that we are all volunteers and most people stay for 1-2 weeks only. Everything is a bit chaotic, but at the same time everything flows and A LOT is achieved. It is quite impressive. Many young volunteers give it all during the short time that they are here.

I will continue sorting clothes today. Tomorrow I am off to Kalymnos.

Barbara

October 11, 2015

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Syrian refugee family arrives on Kalymnos via Turkey. Photo: Barbara Schulz

On the photo you see Adla and her two kids. She is Kurdish, from Syria. Her husband, a philosophy professor in Damascus, was killed by IS two years ago. Her parents died in the war, also. She fled with her family via Lebanon and Turkey. They went to Izmir and from there to the harbor. She paid 4.800 euro for herself and the two kids for passage to Kalymnos on a very small boat. See picture. Twelve refugees were stuffed into this small boat. While waiting for the boat, a plane checking for migrants flew over. They hid under the trees. The sea was very calm, so they decided to cross. They were lucky and arrived.

I met them at the harbor the day I arrived here. Since there is such squalor where they put up the refugees for the night, I paid a room for them at Papadi’s [accommodations where Barbara is staying] for two nights. 50 euros well spent!

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Small boat that carried 12 refugees from Izmir, Turkey, to Kalymnos, Greece. Photo: Barbara Schulz

They are waiting for some papers from the police and then they are off to Athens, and then the long journey to Austria, where she has a brother.

Every refugee has a story…

Barbara

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Refugee accommodations, Kalymnos, Greece. Photo: Barbara Schulz

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