ATHENS—Greetings (salām) from Greece!
Our team of 11 from Calgary, Toronto, Florida and South Carolina arrived safely on Saturday and Sunday, and quickly settled into our apartments in the hub of Athens. We’re across from the metro and a hop from the local partnering office, and making sure we’re getting lots of sunscreen with temperatures between 30-40°C.
Each day it’s been heart-breaking stepping into the stories of refugee families—families who have been persecuted, arriving on Greek shores with nothing, and live in constant fear about their future, and where they’ll receive their next meal.
Thank you for your support, and here is a brief recap of our last few days…
15 families. 200 meals.
Since arriving on the weekend, through the help of our three local translators (refugees themselves!) we’ve been learning how to communicate with families and navigate our way around town:
- Monday – family visitations, and building relationship with a local squat (a vacant apartment building 150 refugees took over)
- Tuesday – family visitations, and children activities with 200 chicken, rice, and Greek salad (mmhm!) meals for our new friends at the squat
- Wednesday – visited families in a Greek-run refugee camp, team building activity at the Acropolis
- Yesterday – family visitations, prioritized family needs to be met, prepared soccer uniforms for a children’s match next week
Today, we’re learning more from a refugee family interview, and thereafter we’ll clean and cook for 150 at the Arabic church with some children activities. Stay tuned for pictures!
This is our volunteer team member Nat, who is assessing eye sight and giving away glasses.
She was shyly approached by a woman in her late-40s, who asked her if she could give her a pair of free glasses. It turns out that this woman’s old pair had broken apart that very morning.
Nat set her up with a new pair, and she was so excited that she came back later with a friend who also needed to see. Besides this squat (abandoned housing area), Nat also assessed people at the refugee camp yesterday.
We’ll continue posting updates, and will be featuring a refugee story each day via social media. Thanks for following along!
Eva, Ashok, Joyce, Matthew, Kimberly, Joy
Amy, Natalie, Sabina, Connie and Daniel
July 2017 Greece Team