It is a very silent morning today. Since yesterday night the whole of Greece is in a lock down to prevent the Corona virus from spreading too fast. No musea, no cinema, no theatres, no schools, no bars or restaurants. All is closed. Everyone in Greece got a message on our phone to warn them to stay home as much as possible.
This also means the activities to help refugees are getting harder and harder. Most organisations stopped in Athens and the few left, including our organisation, are trying to help where possible within the boundaries.
‘Stay at home’ they say, then the virus won’t spread as fast. But so many refugees don’t have a home! Many of them also don’t have access to healthcare. These are such vulnerable people…
This crisis comes on top of the already existing refugee crisis.
The camps all over Greece are hosting much more refugees than they are capable of, making the situation very dangerous for the refugees and on the islands also for the inhabitants. Refugees live in a survival mode, hoping to find food, shelter and warmth wherever they can to survive, since Europe is not proving it for them.
Now with the help of the army they are building new closed camps on the islands, which causes a lot of unrest since islanders and refugees (and everyone else with a working brain!) see that this is not the solution to the problem!
Europe is not keeping its promise, the refugees are not spread over Europe and human rights, the rights of refugees, are being abused big time!
Right wing fanatics and fascists came from all over Europe to the islands to terrorise refugees, volunteers and local islanders that help refugees. Warehouses and schools to help out refugees have been set on fire. Cars from people that help refugees have been smashed to pieces, with the people inside it!…
On the islands lots of the organisations that helped out giving medical care, information, legal advice, tents, clothes etc. stopped because the situation became too dangerous.
In mainland Greece the camps are more then full. Lots of refugees have to find their own shelter. Mind you: the percentage of refugees: 40 % children, 30% women, 30% men! Many live on the streets or in parks here in Athens.
The greek authority now decided to cut the time that they provide a refugee with money for shelter. It first was 6 months, a week ago it was still 2 months, now it is only 30 days!
Due to the Corona virus the government services to refugees are also very limited for at least a month.
So here I’m sitting in front of my house in Athens, not knowing really what is wise. Keep helping refugees means you could spread the virus quicker, but they have no one to turn to if also the non governmental organizations stop all their services. It’s hard…
We were going to have a Cycle for Good benefit party tonight. Many people were going to come. It would have been great to raise money while have a party with all the new people we met over the last months.
But we had to cancel it😢
It will be all very unsure what will happen to our cycling trip. Borders within Europe are closing down and cyclers all around the world are met with suspicion. Are we now spreaders of the virus when cycling??
We were planning to start cycling after March, but we have to see…
For now please all take care of yourself and the ones around you. 😘