Help for refugees
My name is Ely, I'm a 44 years old graphic designer from Argentina living in Barcelona, Spain.
Next 1st April I will be returning to Samos (one of the greek islands where the refugees arrive on their journey to Europe), to volunteer again -this time for a month-, alongside with a group of ordinary people from the island and from different parts of the world that goes there just to assist with the refugee crisis.
I have seen the hard work they do to make it possible that hundreds of people that arrive to the island (usually wet or soaking wet), with minimal belongings, sometimes only the clothes they are wearing, will be provided with dry clothes and shoes, food and other basic needs during their stay on the island as they wait to receive their papers.
These people are human beings like you and me that have lost everything. They are called refugees but most of them don’t have a place to go or are stranded in precarious conditions. These people could be you or me someday, then I ask myself what would I do in their place? I’m aware I won’t change the history but as I witnessed in the past December, every little help they receive makes their lives a bit brighter.
All of my costs are paid out of my own pocket but I am hoping to help some families with your help if you can share whatever you can afford so it will go directly to the people who really need it. I will use it to buy shoes, food and other needs for the refugees once I’m in Samos.
1 pair of trainers costs 11 €
1 pair of winter boots costs 25 €
1 beanie costs 5€
1 pair of gloves costs 3 €
1 backpack costs 12 €
Thank you and all the best.
Thank you so much again for sending your generous donations to keep helping the people stranded in Samos!
Since I am not in condition to go back and help myself ‘in situ’ (at least for now!), but I still want to help from the distance, I am transferring the donations to the wonderful volunteers Jenny Graham and Derek whom I have met and worked with on April’16. They are hard working and committed long term volunteers and they are still in Samos assisting the people that are stranded in the detention centre, as well as the new arrivals that are still happening in the island.
They work along with the wonderful Friendly Humans of Samos and together they help people with what they need, from nutritious food, baby milk and bottles to clothes, coffee, etc. But the most important is that they provide genuine humane support that is much needed, from human to human, they talk to them, they listen to their stories, they play with their kids. In other words, they care about them. They all have my respect and admiration and I have learned a lot from them.
If you would like to know more about them and follow their work, please check their Facebook pages and blogs or ask me for any questions you might have:
Muchísimas gracias otra vez por seguir enviando vuestras donaciones para seguir ayudando a la gente que está y que continúa llegando a la isla de Samos en busca de un lugar seguro.
Como de momento no me es posible volver a ayudar personalmente en la isla, pero quiero igualmente seguir ayudando, estoy enviando las donaciones a 2 voluntarios independientes que conocí y con los cuales trabajé en abril ’16. Jenny Graham y Derek son una pareja irlandesa que trabajan duro día a día para ayudar con todo lo que puedan a quienes más lo necesitan.
Comparten esfuerzos con los increíbles “Friendly Humans of Samos”, otro grupo de voluntarios independientes locales y daneses y juntos proveen a las personas de todo lo que puedan necesitar, desde comida nutritiva, leche para bebés, biberones, hasta café, ropas, etc. Pero lo más importante es que brindan el apoyo humano que tanta falta hace a estas personas desplazadas de sus países, ayudan de humano a humano, hablan con ellos, escuchan sus historias, juegan con sus niños… en otras palabras, se preocupan por ellos.
Todos ellos tienen mi respeto y admiración, por su trabajo y por todo lo que aprendí trabajando con ellos.
Para conocerlos mejor y seguir el trabajo que hacen, podéis seguir sus páginas de Facebook y blogs, o preguntarme por cualquier cosa que quisierais saber:
The video has been co-produced by Pru and Saleh, 2 wonderful long term volunteers I worked with in Samos. There are also other familiar faces such as Eugenio, an italian doctor that appears assisting people at the MOAS ship, right after being rescued from the freezing waters in January 2016. All wonderful souls.
Through these scenes you can also see the places where I have been volunteering: the detention centre and port in Samos, and the warehouse where we organized the ton of boxes with clothes donated by people from Europe and that we gave to the people stranded in Samos. The propeller of the Olympic Air plane that links Samos to Samos, exactly the same image I keep on my mind of the end of both trips, looking to the scenery through the window plane while trying to (unsuccessfully) process everything I saw and experienced.
To see the video please follow this link: https://video.vice.com/en_uk/video/light-in-dark-places/58ac23f28c0157477a35a73b
To see more about Pru and Saleh project, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/weareonecollective/
Muchísimas gracias a todos por las donaciones! Comparto este potente y conmovedor video que muestra historias de los refugiados de Samos, mostrando las condiciones hostiles donde viven y dando una visión clara de la crisis de refugiados que todavía está presente a pocos km de distancia del confort de nuestras casas en esta Europa de 2017.
El video fue co-producido por Pru y Saleh, 2 voluntarios increíbles con los que trabajé en Samos. También aparece Eugenio, un medico italiano al que se ve asistiendo a las personas en el momento de ser rescatadas del agua en el barco de MOAS, en enero de 2016. Todas almas maravillosas e inspiradoras.
A través de estas escenas también se ven los lugares donde estuve haciendo el voluntariado: el centro de detención y el puerto de Samos, y el depósito donde organizábamos las toneladas de cajas con ropa que llegaban donadas desde Europa y que luego dábamos a la gente en el centro de detención. La hélice del avión de Olympic air en el vuelo entre Samos y Atenas, exactamente la misma imagen que tengo del final de los 2 viajes, mirando por la ventanilla y tratando (sin conseguirlo) de procesar todo lo visto y vivido.
Este es link para ver el video: https://video.vice.com/en_uk/video/light-in-dark-places/58ac23f28c0157477a35a73b
Y este es para ver más sobre los projectos de Pru y Saleh: https://www.facebook.com/weareonecollective/
Estoy muy feliz de contarles que uno de los chicos sirios que estaba en Samos desde abril ’16 al cual ayudaron con sus donaciones finalmente llegó a Alemania donde se pudo reunir con su madre después de 5 largos meses de espera en el centro de detención. Mil gracias de nuevo por tanta generosidad! :D <3
With a huge smile in my heart and face I’m very happy to tell you that one of the Syrian boys stranded in Samos since April 2016 and that you’ve helped with your donations has made it to Germany and is now reunited with his mother after 5 long months! :D <3 Thank you so much again for your generosity!
They have to queue for everything including food, toilet, shower and recharging mobiles. They can't even have a proper rest at night as the crowd stay awake til late and make a lot of noise... I just can't imagine how hard it is for them to bare this situation for the months it will take them to get their situation sorted, if it happens...
This week a little girl grabbed my hand as soon as I entered to the hotspot, she and a dozen of girls and boys took me to the upper side of the hotspot to show me their place and family... It was a cabin with 2 rows of bunk beds where many people including families and babies live together with the only privacy that a grey blanket hanging in between the beds can create... Despite this they are so kind and happy to socialize. Kids are always happy to use their knowledge of english and keep asking as many questions as they know. It's usually my name, my age, nationality, if i am married or have babies. And of course they ask for toys! They love the soap bubbles, skipping rope and hula hoop.
Tomorrow will be my last day in Samos and I wanted to give these kids some more happy days so thanks to your donations I've got a few more skipping ropes, crayons and colouring books (75,46€) I felt like a child again at the stationery shop, it reminded me of the happiness it used to bring me to get new markers or pencils when I was a child and I am sure these kids will love every single pencil! :)
For the mothers that are not able to get any baby milk or hot water for their baby bottles at night time you have provide them with a dozen of kettles and 10 cans of baby formula (236,70).
Last, you have treated a syrian family of 4 with some cash for them to spend in a hotel once their papers get sorted, so they can enjoy at least a few nights of 'normal' life and get a proper rest. They didn't want to accept it at all, it took me a few minutes and improvise some signs skills to explain them that it wasn't my own cash but the donations coming from many friends and people from different countries.
Once again and last time I want to thank you for your support and donations! 3100,00€ have made the lives of these people a bit more bareable and myself moved by your generosity! Lots of love and respect to you all, you are wonderful and I hope to see soon! ❤
Thank you so much for your efforts in such a difficult situation!
Thanks so much Ely, tears in my eyes reading your message and it makes me realise how good it is of you to actually go there and make a difference. I'm not sure if I would have done the same, even if I didnt have Charlie... I send you loads of hugs and courage to continue... Xxxx
Thanks for the update Ely! Heartbreaking what these fugitives have to go through But good to hear you can help them.