Five years ago, SCM was one of the very first organizations to go to the Greek islands off the coast of Turkey to provide humanitarian and medical aid to the refugees who had made the perilous journey across the sea to get into the European Union. We were on the island of Lesbos, rescuing refugees as they got to the shores, giving them blankets and food, helping them get to safety and to medical facilities if they were in need of further treatment, providing translation services, and providing information to help the refugees take their next steps to asylum.
We followed the need to northern Greece as the refugees tried to continue their flight to countries that they believed would provide refuge and asylum for them. We were instrumental in providing immediate emergency medical care to those at the northern Greek border as well as humanitarian supplies such as food and blankets.
We eventually partnered with another organization to provide these services at two large camps set up by the government in northern Greece. We also set up schools in each camp and had space in a large warehouse to collect donations and sort for distribution to the residents of the camps.
We’ve had a brief hiatus on our work in Greece as the crisis seemed to wind itself down and the refugees disbursed into the EU or found other places to live in Greece. The government was also becoming more adverse to outside organizations coming in and providing assistance to the refugees and made it very difficult for us to operate in any capacity there. We tried to set up a clinic and housing for women and children on the island of Samos as the need picked up again last summer, but our agents from the US and Jordan were blocked by the government at every turn.
In the midst of that stymied effort, we gained a local partner that has agreed to continue assisting us on the ground. This person is a Greek national so she does not face the same deterrents as foreign NGO workers face. She is carrying on our mission on Samos to provide humanitarian aid to the refugees there. These refugees have faced persecution as the anti-refugee sentiment has grown throughout Greece. The government is keeping the conditions at the makeshift camps squalid, overcrowded, unprotected and unsafe. They need our help more than ever now.
Please donate to this effort to keep provided much needed food, clothing, hygiene supplies, medicines, and more to the people who have given up everything to find safety and security.
The video below shows the unsanitary conditions have attracted rats. We are helping to get rid of them and some of the funds donated with go to that effort.