So… as many of you who have been following us the last few years will know, We rarely get to spend Christmas with family. This year , as we are based in Greece, at least for us the borders are open. The same sadly can not be said for hundreds more who must now face the Balkan countries in degrees below zero. They will also face racism, hatred, abuse and closed frontiers .Let us not become a world that will once again turn our backs on those in need… In the spirit of christmas, the spirit of humanity, let us offer a hand of friendship amid a wave of intolerance, ignorance and discriminations. Let us never again see signs like this…
Let me give you a quick update on the port. The weather here in Samos has been very very windy and showery so very few boats have been arriving. One large boat got in to trouble near some rocks 2 days ago, the smuggler who was actually on the boat , escaped via jet ski. Thankfully all 95 on board were rescued safely by a Swedish sea rescue team here on the island.
The camp on the port itself has now been totally restructured. It is much more sheltered from the sea breeze, laid out more securely. We have a power bank for charging phones etc so people can call home to family members. A large marquee means that those in tents can now pitch their tents inside the marquee. We have a lot more IKEA cabins almost completed. Food, clothes and emergency distributions are still needed and still going ahead.The drains have all been cleaned out, cabins washed, toilets cleaned and we are ready for whoever needs us next. Safe play areas are set up for the children.Its not perfect … but it offers at least some basic sense of humanity from people offering help with only good in their hearts …
As I keep reiterating, we, all of us, are doing our best… but people are still in a hard situation. The strange weather here means the mosquitoes are out in force each evening. So many people are having strong reactions to the bites, men, women and children. We all carry around creams, pens, repellent etc to try to help.The showery weather also means we are handing out hundreds of rain ponchos again… clothes , blankets etc are getting wet…and the rainy season and winter itself is only just beginning.
We were honoured this week to have a visit from Archbishop Jeronimos of Greece. Despite his age, he walked the camp to offer his solidarity, blessing and prayers to all….and all were very appreciative of his gesture
We need your help…again.
We need to replenish the stocks, food, water, hygiene needs, mosquitoes creams ….everything . Your support so far has been amazing. The nights are now dark, cold and no doubt lonely and fearful for so many…
And so, our time on Samos for this year is almost up. If one border, the Rafah border to Gaza, remains closed to us, we will return in January. But be it Palestine or Greece, We will continue with your help and your support to fight for the rights of all, the opening of all borders and a demand for the basic human rghts of all people regardless of colour or creed.
Before we leave, We are asking for one big push … A Christmas gesture perhaps , a chance to restock, purchase whatever is needed , supply whatever is wanted to make this week and the weeks to come as bearable, as easy, as safe and as clean as possible for those asking for help.
You can donate via PayPal or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS… We also had another visitor twice this week. The legendary crazy monk seal of Samos who can regularly be found on Sunbeds or cafes around Samos island. She paid us another visit right outside our cabin this morning, much to the delight and bewilderment of all the children..