“I wanted to remind myself of my time spent volunteering and was looking back through the maze of all my posts and shares on my Facebook page- Holy Dinah! Weeding through the, let’s say, impressive amount of posts took me a good three hours. And I am a speed reader! I took out all of the shared posts and put together only what I personally posted. So here it is-still long, sorry, spelling mistakes, bad grammar and all–remember I was posting usually after an 18 hour day, in dim light, usually using my cell phone keypad. 😉 “
October 13th – My First Day on Kos
Got here a few hours ahead of the team and went for a walk to acquaint myself with the area and meet some refugees. My very first encounter was with a daddy trying to console his two year old girl. She loves me ❤ I got her to stop crying in less then a second. I am so doing what I am meant to do. My next encounter was with a group that came in Friday on a dingy with 15 family members…I saw in that group my Hailey and Z. The mom, my Dani’s age asked me which country I think is more tolerant Germany or Sweden (I said truly I do not know, I’m from Canada). They are so worried about their future but want a better life for their children. I wish I could bring them home. I didn’t bring much down with me but it sure went fast–there are sooo many in need. I am back at my room now to grab the men’s shoes I brought, I told a refugee with his cut up and bandaged feet I would meet him in the same spot in one hour with shoes and polysporin.
So tired, can’t stop thinking about those I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard, and it’s been such a short time here. I met today 3 different families with young children, one from Iraq and 2 from Syria with the same story. Please stop and think a moment on what I am going to tell you. You have decided to leave your belongings, your home (if it is still there), your job, your friends and family–you are desperate to get to safety for your children’s sake–you’re all being bloody bombed for Christ’s sake (or Allah, does it matter?–NO) but the journey is hard, extremely difficult, long and expensive (to pay off smugglers, etc) so when forced to make a choice I ask you this…Which child will you leave behind? If your husband and brothers were murdered and you have 4 children but can’t possibly carry or pay for them all, which one do you leave behind? I cannot possibly imagine making that choice. Can you? Then imagine the agony of having made that choice and how much you would worry for those left behind. Our governments all need to step up and work on a safe plan to get these people to safety not just fight over how many refugees they will accept but to actually get them safe transport out. And for those I met today, I sure hope they get settled and able to bring the rest of their families over soon–cut the stupid red tape.
1st GoFundMe Post
My name is Charmaine, I’m a 47 year old grandmother of 3 precious darlings. I love to travel and in May of this year I visited Turkey for my second time. Turkey was as lovely as I remembered but with a huge difference to my previous trip. The amount of Syrian refugees we saw living on the streets was staggering! We at home just do not see what is really going on. I came home with an image I just could not get out of my mind of a little boy living on the streets holding his blankie and knew that somehow I must go back to help in some way. While Turkey has allowed the refugees (over 2 million) to come in as “guests” they either get housed in camps (some families have been stuck there since 2011) . Many choose to live on the streets instead of camps and find menial low pay jobs to save to pay the smugglers to get them out. They are only able to bring one backpack with maybe a change of clothes, baby supplies, a disk of their photo memories however most backpacks are lost at sea, the dingys are unsafe, many life jackets are fake (ripped one open myself, horrified by what I found) they lose their shoes and swim for their lives. Once they get here they have to register then wait days for their number to come up at the police station to get processed. Once they are processed they can purchase a ticket for a ferry to the mainland where they have a long journey ahead of them crossing borders and much walking to get to a country where they can claim refugee status. Their need is great, their need for help is immediate, everything from water, food, clothing, shoes, shampoo, diapers, medicines, money for ferry tickets and buses in countries that allow it. Children are not exempt, everyone must purchase a ticket. There are some great charity organizations along their route, but not enough and sadly some are only helping refugees from particular areas. It’s quite odd but it’s happening, very sad. I have joined up with a great team from the UK who have been already helping here over the summer. They are wonderful and help anyone and everyone who needs it. I have self funded for the most part and brought over as much as I could I will easily spend all I’ve got, the need is so great. If any of my fellow Canadians would like to help me help out any little bit is welcomed and much appreciated. All money will be spent on essentials, food, medication, hygiene products, diapers, activities for children, anything at all that a vulnerable refugee would need to relieve their suffering. I can access the funds while here and every penny will go to help. Thank you, love you all.
I’ve never saved a life before and I am a bit overwhelmed that my first was 45; 35 adults and 10 children–3 of them babies–1 of them 5 days old (his poor mother with many ripped stitches ) Honestly can’t process yet, tell ya later..
so happy they are alive, but I sure am crying.
I have been so busy I haven’t had time to look at the gofundme notifications–I know you’re sharing and I just wanna hug you all, thank you!
For the rest of the article please go to: My Personal Facebook Posts While Volunteering In Kos, Greece Helping With The Refugee Crisis | charmainecraig