Eleftheria Alexandri is a student at the Aegean University on Lesvos island in Greece, studying social anthropology and the history of Greek civil wars. She started volunteering with Hellenic Red Cross in April 2016 because she felt compelled to help people washing up on the shores of Lesvos.
Eleftheria volunteers with Red Crossai??i??s distribution team at Moria reception centre, providing people with emergency supplies including, water, towels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and shampoo.
“It’s not very often we see people happy,ai??? the 22-year-old explains. ai???We joke with people in the camp a bit and try to get a smile from the kids, but people are tired.ai???
Moria camp is home to more than 2,400 people ai??i?? including many families from places ravaged by conflict such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Since an agreement between the European Union and Turkey came into effect on 20 March, people arriving to Greece have not been allowed to continue their journeys. About 57,000 people have been stranded across the country since the Spring, living in reception centres and camps like Moria. Eleftheria says the uncertainty of the future is taking its toll on people.
ai???They’ve been here for months and they don’t know how long they’ll be here or what happens next,ai??? she says.
Residents of Moria live in cramped conditions with some living in tents, some under tarpaulins tied fences and all sleeping on the hard and sloping ground. The most vulnerable people, such as elderly or disabled, live in container units. During the summer the conditions are sweltering. Young volunteers like Eleftheria are playing a major role in Greece and across Europe in supporting thousands of people fleeing violence, poverty and persecution in search of safety.
For further reading:Ai??http://www.get-social.at/fileadmin/content/Bereich_Jugend/EYCC_YouthMigration_Handbook.pdf