ATHENS—A little over 1 week ago our ROOTS church team from Canada finished up our volunteer work in Athens, Greece. The team consisted officially of 12 members with the surprise addition of Lea, a volunteer from Germany.
The team was headed by Shelley with the assistance of Paul, both of whom have volunteered with CGR before, in Iraq and Athens. Craig and George are pastoral staff, Rannie is a family doctor, and the rest of the 12; Lilly, Sam, Bill, Ryan, Megan, Reed, and Doris are students from around Canada and the United States. Together they gave their time, effort, and funds to a variety of refugee programs during their one week stay.
At a retreat centre, the team hosted 60+ refugee men, women, and children offering an opportunity for them to escape for a moment from their cramped and often unsanitary living conditions in squat houses around Athens. Funds the team raised were used to pay for transportation to the retreat centre as well as for gift bags offering hygiene products, toys, food, and school supplies to both women and children. This was done two days in a row.
The remainder of the trip was spent visiting refugee camps in Koropi, near the Athens airport, and in the nearby town of Lavrio. Some lived in apartment complexes, others at a children’s summer camp, converted to house refugees. The group spent their time bringing food stuffs, giving out diapers, picking up litter, playing with children, and listening to stories.
The giving and acts of kindness the team was able to give through your donations is what makes a difference in these people’s lives, but it’s their stories that impacted ours. Expect to see further updates from the team including personal experiences and the stories they came across.