Eventually the chairs and tables had to go, chopped for firewood as the temperature sank further below freezing. It was new year in northern Greece and inside Thessaloniki’s Softex refugee camp, the wooden furniture that refugees had assiduously made to provide some comfort was sacrificed to help them survive another night.
About 66,000 refugees are stranded in Greece, of whom an estimated 26,400 are children, mostly Syrian. No one knows what 2017 holds for these youngsters, where they will end up or what language they must learn. But as winter’s numbing cold is replaced by summer’s mosquitoes, they will probably remain in situ, trapped between worlds.
Last Friday, Labour peer Alf Dubs, who last year forced the UK government to accept more unaccompanied minors, arrived in Thessaloniki to visit the city’s emergency refugee camps and immediately felt despair. He saw babies crawling on frost-crusted paths, and families shivering in flimsy tents. One volunteer told him how 60 Syrian families had been found surviving in an apartment block beyond Thessaloniki airport. Their only support was cash cards to access state handouts. The nearest shop was an hour’s walk away.
Dubs, who was brought to Britain from Czechoslovakia in 1939 as part of the Kindertransport project, predicted during a visit to the Calais “Jungle” camp last August that the squalor he saw would induce nightmares.
Sep 14, 2020Staff Reporter Abul kalam of Camp 16 told to our correspondence that Rohingya Community Members actually want to go back to Myanmar, not to a island which is in the middle of bay of Bengal. It is really very dangerous during monsoon season. Recently, some leaders from different camps went to see the location whether […]
Sep 01, 2020
Aug 21, 2020