All posts by ronja

45 Syrian Refugees arriving at Charamida beach

Wow i don’t know how to explain about that night?
It was a Great memory for the night that I got to know new comers refugees in mytilini!
It was great for me because I was waiting and looking for the refugees boats already 3 nights .
It was 3:40 am in the morning that I heard some engine sound from the sea.
I saw a boat and it was coming to the beach.
I listen to their language and realized they were talking in Arabic .
I became sure that they are new refugees and I turned on my light and ran down the hill towards them.
Unfortunately they were scared of me and they turned back towards the sea .
I shouted in Arabic that I’m your friend and want help you,
And in that moment a friend of the camp came and shouted towards the refugees: “assalamualeikum! Assalamualeikum!” Then they finally decided to come to us.
I was helping them with my other friends out of the water. We gave them table water to drink and started to help .
There were 40/48 people in the boat
All of my friends helped and informed to the the other people at our place. We carried the children, women and old people to the registration center by the car .
I had 2 different feelings that time.
First: I was so happy to get to know the new refugees whom I waited for and I could help them and they become happy and thanked us a lot😝😝😝😝😝
Second: it was sad that the people have to leave their country and want to save their life because of the war😭😭😭😭

Journey back part III: One Day at the port

Follow us on Twitter

The people face unbearable conditions here: families even with young children and babies have to sleep outside on the ground in the overcrowded camps and in the harbor, without a tent, without a blanket, often even without anything under them. Some of them lost everything on the boat: Today we met a woman, traveling alone with her three small children. She not only lost her passport, her money, everything on the boat between Turkey and Lesvos. We managed to buy some baby food and pampers, we could offer shoes for the children from our donations. But she is just one of so many people here on the island. Around 80.000 refugees arrived in 2015 on Lesvos. The island as a whole has 86.000 inhabitants.

Who goes today in the harbor? Who’s heading for Kara Tepe? And who to Moria? These are the finishing questions of our daily plenary. After “using” the midday heat in the shade sitting to reflect on the yesterday, and to plan the today, we head to these the three places – equipped with many info flyers, water, often also medicine, clothing and paper and pens.
To the harbor in Mitilini refugees go directly after they have arrived on the island and need to register for the first time. From there they are brought into the camps either Kara Tepe or Moria. After their second registration, after having got the white paper, with which they have the right to buy a ferry ticket to the mainland, they go again to the harbor for buying a ferry-ticket waiting for the date to have the chance to leave the island and go on their way to Europe.
Continue reading Journey back part III: One Day at the port

Journey III: First Impressions

Follow us on Twitter
The first morning we stay at the beach in Charamida with a bigger group: About 4AM some of us hear the sound of an engine, people shouting. Directly at the beach next to us a boat with refugees from Syria and Iraq arrived. We go to welcome them and bring them some water and biscuits. It is a group of about 40 people, among them many families with children, who arrived from Turkey after 4 hours in the sea.
We call the coastguard, we call the police, but without much hope that they will come and pick them.

There are so many arrivals these days and mostly the people have to walk and walk for hours until they reach Mitilini where they have to register in the port. The way from Charamida to Mitilini is long.
Continue reading Journey III: First Impressions

Arrival in Mytilini and construction of the camp

Follow us on Twitter

The first groups of w2e and JoG arrived in Mytilini (Lesvos) / Greece. The people from Greece, Sweden, Germany and France arrived on different ways. Some of them flew to Athens or directly to Mytilini, others travelled by car and ferry. Some of them already met in Athens where they organized the infoguides in different languages. When the ferry arrived in Mytilini some of the people had to stay in the harbour because the cars were full of material. So they got some first impressions of the situation there. The others on their way to the camp already saw the first refugees who had just arrived.

They were on their way to the harbour where the first registration takes place. Our people went fast to the camp to unload the cars, then they drove back to catch up the refugees because the way from where they arrive to the harbour is very long and the heat makes it very hard to get there. Back in the harbour, they caught up the rest of our group to go back to the camp where the work started. The camping place was really dirty, full of garbage and a lot of things were broken, so everything had to be renovated and cleaned. Also the tents had to be build up. But it wasn’t possible to arrive slowly and relaxed because during the construction of the camp every night more and more refugees arrived on the island. So with the start of the camp the action began immediately.

Journey back to the border – Part III

Lesvos/ Greece 15.-26. August 2015

Next week, in August 2015 we will return once again to the border– to the places of our first arrivals and encounters, to one of Europe’s gates and transit zones.

We will continue to warmly welcome all newcomers and we want to empower them through our presence. In the very moment as they challenge the European borders we will stand by them.

If the European border regime becomes history it will be washed ashore by the wave of our collective NO; our NO to be exposed to war and repression, our NO to be excluded from education and healthcare, our NO to be exploited and forgotten. Even if our “No” is not always shout out loud, it vibrates in every single step of our journeys.

We feel solidarity and a strong connection with our friends in Greece, who have been confronted with the brutality of the European elites in another way. Their Oxi! gave us hope when most of us, after a long journey, tried to find a place in Europe, tried to figure out the relation to and within the European society. As new European citizens we demand equal rights for everyone. Obviously, not only migrants are nowadays used as scapegoats in Europe, but also those who say no to an austerity program without alternative.

We come back to Mitilini in a time when it is a zone of transit. Continue reading Journey back to the border – Part III