This is a day in the life of a Kurdish refugee crisis volunteer
I will share some of my experiences from my trip to Greece last year. However, I am preparing for a new adventure to Calais, France, otherwise known as the “Jungle”… 3000 refugees live in Calais, almost 1000 of them unaccompanied minors. I am FUNDRAISING my way to be part of the team at the Refugee Womens Centre.
Last year around this time I embarked on a journey that would forever change me
I fund-raised myself to Greece. I was a volunteer for two NGO organizations providing support for refugees who fled their homes in search of a better life.
Little do these families know, it is not rainbows and sunshine when they secretly cross the dangerous 5-mile body of water separating Turkey and Greece. I stayed in a village of 80 people named Skala Sikimineas. As boat spotters, we were responsible for alerting the search and rescue team on the water and land to advise them when we spotted a dinghy or a smuggler boat.
As a volunteer, I felt every emotion from anger, helplessness, joy, and fear.
One night I was the first point of contact for 17 refugees ( including 6 children) who landed in Lesvos. Ultimately, it was the sound of a child crying that led me to them. The photo was taken by me once ambulances and volunteers arrived.
I traveled to Larisa next, where I was part of a small organization that focused on food distribution and children activities. There was a children’s library that boasts a collection of books in 12 languages.
In a short time we built a Women’s safe space…
We turned an old trailer into a “Beauty Salon” and a “Majlis“, otherwise known as a gathering place. A Kurdish women helped sew pillowcases for the Majlis, a much needed place to sit.
The universe works in mysterious ways and I’m lucky to have tapped into it. A week ago I had no intention of traveling abroad to volunteer this summer… and one conversation changed my mind. Being the first Kurdish volunteer at the women’s centre in Calais gets me excited to share my mother’s stories and give hope to those who have lost it. added my fundraise link to my bio if you want to help support me! #womenwithoutborders #fundraise #calais #refugeecrisis
We worked for 5 weeks to build this space for the women and we were outside six days a week with temperatures reaching upwards of 45 degrees Celsius!
Did I mention, Larisa is the hottest city in Greece in the summer AND is completely inland?
Calais camp is notoriously the roughest place for refugees to end up. The French government tell them its a “dead end” and many of them have absolutely nothing. I have a FUNDRAISING PAGE to provide books, tents, and other shelter needs for these women children and families at the Calais Jungle.
I will be posting a series of “updates” through BKM to document my time there! Anything helps 🙂
As a point of interest for International Awareness Days currently observed by the United Nations.Read More »