Help Refugees in Greek Camps
Your generosity is welcomed and greatly appreciated..
On December the 1st 2016, I will be departing for a week with my 9 year old, he has been helping me along with Khidma Without Borders . I am volunteering in Greece because I want to contribute more than money or supplies. While those are completely helpful and necessary, I want to be more active and give the most valuable thing I can: my time.
There was one quote that has resonated with me for a while and also reflects my motivation for volunteering. “Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.” These horrific, life-altering situations could have happened to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Life’s not fair nor is it an even playing field. The best we can do is provide opportunities for others who do not have them.
I am taking with me clothing assigned to me in a larger project to provide winter clothing for the whole of Softex Camp.
I am taking with me dry food for 320 tents. Rice, lentil, pasta.
Little bit about me and Khidma Without Borders:
My name is Abdul Qayyum Shan and co-founder of a Non-Profit Making company called “Khidma (servitude) Without Borders”.
The Syrian refugee crisis is one that has been sparsely covered by the media. It is a crisis that I have helped many times in the past and my heart is set on offering a lot more. I originally stumbled upon an informative video featuring the boats being sunk in the Meditrainian Sea . This video sparked my actions to actively seek out volunteering opportunities. I continued to research the volunteering opportunities and sent out numerous applications to various non-profits companies and NGO's but all my attempts failed.
I attended a talk hosted by Ribat Institute in Woking Surrey. One of the prominent guest speaker, Ola Hassan, a dentist who inspired me to go out and do something instead of waiting for an opportunity to knock on my door. The following week I packed my bags and off I went.
I originally intended to volunteer on Lesvos, Greece, which is an island by Turkey where many of the refugee boats were arriving. Unfortunately, with the EU-Turkey deal, the island was being cleared of refugees and many of the organizations I had applied to had relocated to mainland Greece. With that being said, I began volunteering on mainland Greece, in the Thessaloniki area, Idomeni, BP, HARA and EKO and then Softex Camp.
My next visit was a month later and I was accompanied by Mujib Rahman, good friend of mine and the Co founder of Khidma Without Borders. We worked together to serve humanity at Idomeni, be it by serving food with Idomeni Hot Food, setting up a dental clinic for Dentist Ola Hassan and Health Point Foundation. We supplied dry food to 98% of the camp due to constant movements of refuges. We spent £3900.00 between us. The money was personal and donation people had trusted us to give 100% to the cause.
On our return, we highlighted the plight of Syrian refugees stuck in the miltary camps to our local community. This resulted in another trip planned a month later but this time I was accompanied by 9 friends from our locality and a whopping £18000.00 of aid and clothing. By this time Idomeni was at the point of closure. Upon arrival, in Greece, disappointed at the closure of Idomeni, a discussion took place with one and only Aslam Obaid, we were asked to help at Softex Camp, North of Thessaloniki, Greece. We supplied an endless list of items to the residents of Softex Camp with the help of Intervolve, a Greek NGO.
Since then I have been back twice, offered food on Eid 2016,financed sick to hospital and ferried refugees to and back for their re-location inteview. Setup a residence council in the camp, financed shoes, shampoo and hygeine accessories, created a dedicated team of helper and liaised with other organisation, created Khidma Without Borders and put it on the map.
Thank you for your time