Khalil Gibran writes this:
“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
If there is one thing you should know, it’s that writing about the refugees isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is finding the inspiration to make this situation look and sound picture perfect. I don’t know if it is.
Every time I sit down to write about this, I get angry and then I cry. My heart hurts horribly for all of them, but my heart also loves all of them so much.
So today, I’m going to write about what I’m angry about for the refugees.
Here is this week’s picture:
The refugees fled and are still fleeing war torn countries caused by ISIS. These countries include:
Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.
So the closest and safest destination is Greece.
In my ten days on the island, 174 new refugees arrived. This doesn’t include the 2000+ already living on the island or the ones still on their way. Some of them walked halfway and then got on a boat for the rest of the journey. They all arrived jobless, without money, some injured, and some didn’t make it at all.
So now they’re in Greece. The “better” life. It’s scorching hot everyday and they live in tents with 2-4 other families. No fans. No air conditioning. They are provided two meals a day and are in NEED of drinking water always. Some never leave their tents, because they fear theft, rape, and fights.
So this is where Greece “steps” in. The refugees are provided an “interview opportunity” where they can be granted “Asylum”. If granted Asylum they can move forward into other EU countries and actually live a better life.
Except there’s one problem. Well many.
The Greek government doesn’t tell the refugees ANYTHING on how to prepare for the Asylum Interview.
♦They don’t tell the refugees how they can succeed in this interview.
♦The government fails to tell them that they’re ALLOWED to ask for an extra week to prepare for the interview.
♦The government fails to tell them that they’re ALLOWED to ask for a FREE lawyer that can be appointed to them by the Greek government.
♦This interview is several hours long with repetitive questions asked in different ways. Then at the end of the interview the refugee is asked why they don’t want to return to their home country or to Turkey. If the refugee says “because they’re afraid”, it’s not enough. They must explain in great detail AGAIN all the reasons why they are scared, what happened to them in their home country, and why they deserve to be granted Asylum. If they fail to do any of this, they’re sent to Turkey.
What happens in Turkey?
♦The camps are in MUCH WORSE conditions compared to those in Greece.
♦Turkey may or may not also shoot the refugees if they’re seen at the Turkish borders.
On top of all of this, the Greek government makes it incredibly difficult for volunteers to help the refugees. They will ban volunteer organizations on made up excuses. They will sign you up with official government IDs then right before walking into a refugee camp tell you that you need one more ID or document to get in. Right now there are two refugee camps in Chios. One has 1500+ refugees living in it. The government is only allowing one volunteer into that camp to help all of those people. I repeat. ONE VOLUNTEER to help 1500+ people.
This is the world they live in and that’s why I’m angry. The good thing about anger is that it’s a chance to wake up. So please, be angry for a moment. Now choose to wake up.
How YOU can help:
♦Volunteer with the FEOX Rescue Team or any organization that is helping the refugees.
♦Purchase an SD card HERE. With every SD card purchased, a refugee will get educated on how to prepare for the Asylum interview. An SD card could save a life.
The Silver Lining:
FEOX Rescue Team was recently nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize. With this nomination, the world could get woke in a beautiful way.
Right now we live in a world where we are told that the refugees are criminals or “bad people.” Don’t listen to any of that, because it is untrue.
Who Are The Refugees?
They are human. Just like us.
They are no more or less than us, because we are the same.
They walk the same Earth we do.
They are the light that shines in the dark.
They are survivors. Every day.
They are my heroes and they should be yours too.
Most importantly, they are my friends.
Why did I write this?
Because it’s okay to be angry.
As long as you use that anger to love. ♥
A special THANK YOU to everyone who donated to my refugee cause. With your help we raised $1200 for the refugees!
Today’s blogpost was a hard read. The ones to follow are more lighthearted. I promise. Stay tuned for the Children of Souda in the coming weeks!
Brytta is a traveling yogi and lover of glitter, SUP Yoga and climbing waterfalls. When she’s not adventuring around the world and practicing yoga, you can find her in Chicago finishing her degree and probably eating vegetarian pizza. And when she’s not doing any of that, she’s outside studying constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. ♥