NO MORE BORDERS, NO MORE TEARS

4 445 € of 6 000 € goal

Raised by 70 people in 4 months
2016 and winter is approaching fast in Greece where we are preparing to spend the next few months. After spending a year in the refugee camp in Samos island (and the last 3 weeks here in Ireland) It is time to visit some camps along our way back to Samos.  We recall the winter months in Greece last year as we carried victims and survivors from boats and coast lines, working the nightshift with a skeleton crew when NGO's clocked off for the night, walking the port camp in cold, wet windy nights to ensure those without cover had at least blankets, those without food were fed, those in need of medical attention received it and those just arriving were met with support, hope and attention. Sometimes it was just sitting around a campfire to listen to someone in need of a friend.There are now hundreds and hundreds of people stranded on the Greek border and the islands, many have been here  for months. They wait in tents, they build fires to stay warm, and they watch the authorities, armed guards, patrolling the borders in case anyone would dare take the next step to achieving safety or refuge. They face in to another winter of misery, cold, fear, of losing hope in Europe, in mankind, in Humanity. These camps in Greece have little to no infrastructure and will be the first to face the winter. Flooding is common and another hazard to face. Some will no doubt face death, hunger, violence. The Greek Albanian border is hostile in places. Forests with warnings to be alert for bears and wolves, jagged mountains and deep abysses are regularly patrolled. In March, Albanian and Italian police started joint patrols of the border in a bid to stop migrants traveling onward into Europe. Many if not all of those seeking refuge that are now stranded on the border have already gone through one of the Island camps. They have gone through the humiliations we have witnessed in Samos, the lack of information, bad nutrition, uncertainty and inadequate housing. They will already be stressed, unhealthy, exhausted and now face winter in yet another camp.
It has been a long hard Summer for so many but winter, with its cold and its darkness, Christmas in all its loneliness for so many and the prospect of facing into another year of war, conflict, death, fear and hatred is more than some of these people can face.
So, we ask again, in fact we are pleading for one more big effort this year. Our plan is to arrive with just the basics and to make a needs assessment on arrival. We hope to have enough funding to make at least part of the living conditions more bearable. As human rights activists we will protest the living conditions, fight for more forthcoming information and a right to refuge and as humanitarians we will try to improve basic needs and rights.
Please do what you can to help us help them. We , as always, deeply appreciate your support to us over many years and hope these friendships ( new and old ) continue. Thank you.
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Update 19
Posted by Jenny Graham
15 hours ago
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As we and so many others have mentioned for months now, the food in the camps is inadequate, unvaried and for the most part not nutritious. Here in Samos we , through donations via ourselves, Friendly Humans group ( Samos) and now also with the help of Archipelagos donators ,supplement the food for the unaccompanied minors still resident inside the camp. Many of the younger unaccompanied children are in shelters outside the camp but there are regularly 30 to 40 unaccompanied teenagers inside the camp. These teenagers need better nutrition and a lot more attention than they regularly receive. Each Saturday we shop for basic food items, rice, pasta, fruit veg etc and hand it out to them every Sunday. They have all also been supplied a 2 ring cooker, a kettle and pot and frying pan by Friendly Humans Group and after some very quick but essential cooking instructions, at least now have some fresh healthy food each week. We have also supplied food to those whose diets require something other than the standard army supplied camp food and this week we also needed to cover the needs of one individual who for medical reasons, ( a jaw problem) could not eat anything that was being supplied. His only other option , and the choice given to him, was baby food. This is not a solution or a good enough substitute for any adult.It was actually insulting. He now at least has food of substance and nutrition until he can eat properly again. Many thanks to all who continue to donate to us and the listed groups for allowing us to supplement food on your behalf. Please continue to show your support to all those seeking refuge and sanctuary.

Along with this, Each week we aim to supply many many kilos of fruit ( Oranges, bananas etc) to everyone in the camp as well as hot cups of tea and coffee and fruit and fruit juice to the children on our cafe nights 3 nights a week.


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Update 18
Posted by Jenny Graham
14 days ago
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Back in Samos camp. All sorted and bought to restart our nightly cafe, tea, coffee, juice , new boilers etc and a chance to catch up with friends old and new. It has always been important to us to try , even to a very small degree as this, to afford some sense of social interaction and dignity to the lives of those seeking refuge and currently existing in limbo in the camp. These evenings are when we, of all nationality, beliefs and religions come together as one group of humans without need for queue, id cards or numbers. There is no sense of difference between those who have and those in need....as we have done so regularly for 18 months now, we invite you to , at least virtually, share a cuppa with us...all of us.
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Update 17
Posted by Jenny Graham
24 days ago
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This is Samos this week…. It is a far cry from the promised and no doubt still being discussed “winterization ” of the camps! It is a blight on all those with conscience who either turn away or find this acceptable, IT IS NOT.

We return to Samos in a week. We will never turn away, never give in and never stop fighting for the rights of every human being on this planet to have basic human rights, basic humanity, basic living conditions, education, solace, sanctuary, medical attention, the right to be heard, seen, listened to, the right of safety, of refuge … and the right and the ability to return home !

We are so grateful to those who have already offered help, donated, fundraised, offered advise, suggestions and ideas of help. From the Pakistani community in Ballaghdereen, to Deirdre in Cork and to all her colleagues and friends, to Eva who is a constant support and provider,Bernie in Belfast who has been behind us all the way, to Claire and Jeremy in France and Amy in Cornwall, Denis in New york and Ireland, and Jerry and Louisa in Mayo… to those who have donated via bank transfer, paypal or go fund me. I wish I could name and personally thank every single one of you, it is the least you deserve but I hope this and our promise of doing our best in your name and with your donations/support suffices in some way to showing our absolute gratitude.

As I said, we are in the last preparations for our return. As you can see from the video ( Thanks M) below, things are extremely bad in Samos. Families seeking refuge continue to arrive across dangerous seas to be faced with the scenes below. We have ideas and plans to implement to try to alleviate some of the conditions below but the constant and more sustainable fight for an end to war, greed, conflict and abuse of humans is to the forefront of our minds and our humanitarian work as always only runs paralell to our beliefs as human rights defenders/activists.

Please continue alongside us, watch the videos, and if at all possible donate,share our updates ( which will continue once we arrive back to Greece next week) stay in touch or get in touch… we can not do any of this alone…
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Update 16
Posted by Jenny Graham
1 month ago
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It is with anger in every fibre of my being I type this, type it violently on each key of the keyboard in the ridiculous and probably vain hope that typing loudly will make more people listen. No more excuses , band aids are not enough and yes, what we do is nothing more than a band-aid.

This winter in the camps in Greece, people have died. In 2016/17 in first world countries, in Europe, in our civilized? countries we are watching people die. Drown, freeze, die from inhumane lack of medical treatment, inhumane lack of caring , lack of conscience, from bitterness, racism, xenophobia, from intolerance and ignorance.

I am screaming but even louder they are screaming and no one listens, no-one that can and should make a difference.Do you understand, people are seeking refuge! REFUGE!!! Do we just not care enough? Is it just not close enough to home? Is it the wrong skin colour that we find easy to ignore? Are we really so shallow to choose which religion we help?Which child to save? Which mother we listen to?

The pictures of dead babies has not been enough, the pictures of freezing cold and wet mothers giving birth in a tent not enough. We have sat with the sole survivor of a shipwreck in my arms for 2 days ( 11 years old). I have held the bodies of 3 young babies as their father dug their grave in Samos. We have lifted the body of a 10 year old boy out of the water 10 days after his little body was lost at sea. I can tell you all the stories of rape, torture, murder, displacement, fear and death that we listen to each night. We can reiterate to you the indomitable resilience, bravery and sheer fight to survive we witness daily in the camps... but will that even be enough ?

Yes, today I despair. This last week alone we have had 3 suicide attempts in the camp in Samos, The most recent being a Palestinian single father of 3 children. He has been in the camp for months now with little or no information on his future or the future of his children. What parent could watch his children suffer for months on end, after survivng war, dangerous sea crossings and who knows what other terrors, without any sign of an end, any sign of compassion coming forward or even a start at an asylum process to which he can plan refuge, sanctuary and safety for his 3 young children. Death, leaving behind his children as orphans seemed to him his only chance of getting them heard, getting them help... allowing them a life.

We have booked our tickets to return, to do something, anything we can to help. To add more band-aids to an abyss but we wont stop trying. We will be louder, angrier and more front-line than ever. We will beg, shout, plead for help, for notice, for conscience and for humanity...

We ( all of us ) need help .
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4 445 € of 6 000 € goal

Raised by 70 people in 4 months
Created October 12, 2016
UM
300 €
Una Morris
10 days ago

This is a donation from all those who supported the Christmas vouchers collection for kids and young people in Ballyhaunis Direct Provision Centre

CR
50 €
Carmel Reynolds
14 days ago

I wish it could be more

20 €
Anonymous
14 days ago
DR
50 €
damian rogers
18 days ago

Good luck

TH
100 €
Tatjana Holmes
19 days ago

Incredible effort and well worth supporting

25 €
Anonymous
20 days ago
AF
25 €
Anne-Marie Flynn
26 days ago

Be safe Jenny and Derek and thank you for all that you do.

500 €
Anonymous
1 month ago
FM
25 €
Faye McCardle
1 month ago
JC
50 €
Jessamine O Connor
1 month ago

We will try and raise some funds in Ballaghaderreen soon, thanks for doing this work most of us can't even imagine doing.

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