Early this year, I took a sabbatical from work after 15 years, to travel. Although I have been to Greece earlier and come to love everything about it, this time Greece warmed my heart a little more by the way it has opened its arms to refugees of one of the largest humanitarian crises, despite it’s own ongoing economic crunch. The ongoing refugee crisis has been making me very uneasy for a while now. Thus began an all-out research on how I could be of help while in Greece. I did not have anything to donate except my time. A Norwegian NGO, Dråpen i Havet (A Drop in the Ocean) that works solely on volunteer-participation and donations and focuses more on women and children accepted my application and I set out on my first solo international travel; a bundle of nerves.
Skaramagas hosts the largest, long-term refugee camp in Greece with approximately 3500 residents largely from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, those very people who fled their war-torn countries in search of a better life. The very people who got on to rubber dinghies with remains of their homes in bags and families in their arms, and braved the rough seas, knowing their shot at life itself is a mere fifty-fifty. People who had lives and jobs like ours back in their home countries until a show of political bravado by those who wield power with vested interests, got their homes bombed and dear ones killed. People who have seen life and death like not many of us have… Yet.