Athene – Activities with refugees

Volunteer Iris shares her experiences from Athens:

“1.700 people in one hall, permanent noise, no privacy and only six showers for these people. The stench in which these men, women and children have to live is indescribable. Children that have to sleep in a little tent all the time, under the most dire circumstances. It hurts me to see that children have to stay here. No school, no clean clothes. Sleeping on a small blanket on the floor. It’s dirty hear, really dirty.

Every day around eleven the children storm our way. Finally: going outside, fresh air, relaxing a little. We colour with them, sing and dance with the girls, while soccer remains the boys’ favourite. It is important that we provide structure during these hours. The same rules apply to everyone. You sit down first, then you get a piece of paper. You get to take one crayon at a time and you always put it back with the cap back on. In addition to this we feel it is very important that they learn how to play together and to share with each other.

When we are done at the airport, we move to the harbour. The children greet us enthusiastically every day. Here the children are also our focus. Soccer, songs, jump ropes and pavement chalk. Seeing the kids laugh is so very valuable. It’s difficult to see the situation.”