In 19 days time I will be travelling to Greece to volunteer with the grassroots charity Humans4Humanity. I wrote about my plan to return to Moria in March. I felt like I wanted to share a little more about why i’ve picked Humans4Humanity, why there work means so much to me.
I volunteered in Lesvos in December 2016. The group I was travelling with made a decision to volunteer in the olive groves. The olive groves form part of the land running alongside Moria. We worked with a fantastic grass roots charity called Better Days for Moria/ They were working incredibly hard to bring some order, humanity and much needed resources to those travelling through the camp.
I will never forget the day we arrived. The weather hadn’t been great. The make shift tents housing supplies had been turned over, leaving valuable supplies wet through. We spent our first few hours trying to clean up and bring order to the situation. We lined up the shoes on wooden pallets to dry them out. And we did our first distribution “mens shoes and socks” we had very few shoes and many many cold feet.
How I helped in 2016
There were two tents filled with clothing for women and children. The tents were pitched side by side at the bottom of a muddy hill. It was my job to scrabble around in the dark tents for clothing to fit all shapes, sizes and ages. Often there was a queue and often my “customers” were standing in soaking wet clothing.
There are many stories from that week that haunt me. The faces of the people looking to me for help and all I could tell them is we’ve run out. We have no more shoes in your size, we don’t have any coats left and yes I know it is very cold.
The shame I felt in having to push people back and make them queue on a sodden muddy hill at the mercy of what I could find them in the dark. The helplessness I felt every time a young women looked at me with terror, knowing there was no where private to undress and trying to reassure a stranger that I would protect her modesty. Humans4Humanity believe in aid with dignity through a freedom of choice philosophy…
There are over 6000 people stuck in Moria and the number continues to grow daily. More boats are arriving as the temperature rises in the Mediterranean and the seas calm between Greece and Turkey.
The present situation is much more miserable than in 2016. Refugees will become part of an invisible community, they will end up living out a prison sentence. Except Moria is no longer a prison and Moria residents don’t have the luxury of an end date for their sentence.
Humans 4 Humanity is a startup grassroots non-profit and collective of volunteers aimed at relieving suffering and dedicated to the service of vulnerable refugees, that have fled their war-torn countries by providing maximal emergency humanitarian relief aid, and administering various educational, medical, and women’s empowerment programs.
How I will help in 2018
My journey will begin on Sunday 22nd April. I have registered with Humans4Humanity and plan to work with them whilst i’m there. I will spend a week stacking shelves, unpacking boxes, cleaning, serving customers and providing a welcoming and happy face.
How can you help?
I am now writing this post after returning but I do hope that the stories i’m telling might make you consider donating to my new campaign. The money will all go to Humans4Humanity to keep those running costs paid for. As of 1st May H4H have received £3001 in total. Future donations will be documented on my GoFundMe page.
Kim’s Return to Lesvos Blogs
- Kim Returns to Moria
- Day 1 on Lesvos: Kim Returns
- Day 2 on Lesvos: More about H4H
- Day 3 on Lesvos: Life at Moria
- Day 4 on Lesvos **COMING SOON**
- Day 5 on Lesvos **COMING SOON**
- What’s next? **COMING SOON**