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Europe Refugee Crisis 2016: Stories from our team in Greece and how you can support their work

Europe Refugee Crisis 2016:  Stories from our team in Greece and how you can support their work

Six organisations from the UK make up ‘Zainabiyya Alliance for Refugees (ZAR)’, including CoEJ and The World Federation of KSIMC. These organisations have joined hands to work together to help the refugee crises. The EUROPE REFUGEE CRISIS 2016 APPEAL aims to raise funds to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to the thousands of refugees seeking asylum in Europe. ZAR volunteers have been working tirelessly in Lesvos, Greece alongside other volunteers since October 2015 to provide direct help to refugees as they arrive by boat.


The following stories are narrated first hand from ZAR volunteers and their experiences in Lesvos, Greece:


“I was asked to see a 26 year old male refugee from Syria. His house was shelled and the roof collapsed on his back fracturing his lumbar spine and rendering him paralysed from the waist down. He was on a wheelchair and greeted me with the most radiant smile I have ever seen. The pressure sores on his buttocks were so deep that I could see his sacral bone.  We took him to a local hospital in Greece for dressing and on our way back he asked me to top up his mobile for €10 Euros so that he could keep in touch with his family. He insisted I take money for charging his mobile despite him having hardly any. This individual is resilient and smiles despite of the adversities he is going through. I am sure that when he reaches his destination, he will work hard to contribute towards the society he lives in.”


“Wandering around Mytilene, someone found Ahmed, a disheveled young Syrian boy in his mid-twenties confused and behaving oddly; he was not making any eye contact. His reply to every question was “I don’t’ know.”  The UNHCR staff got in touch with us and we took Ahmed and found out he had schizophrenia and had run out of his medications. He looked hungry so we took him to buy some food. On the way I offered him two chocolates, he took one and refused to take the second one. On my insistence, he took the second one and gave it to my colleague. I bought a fish wrap and gave it to him; he took the wrap and asked me to take the first bite. I was touched by his gesture as even in his state of ill health he offered to others first what he had, took only what was needed for that moment and shared what was in excess. Ahmed’s kind behaviour made me wonder whether he was misdiagnosed as I felt he was more in touch with the reality of his innate self than perhaps I was. It left me wondering when all the external influences are removed, human beings revert back to their original personalities.”


“Yesterday, we got a call to attend a case conference regarding 3 siblings (ages 2, 4 and 6). They were unaccompanied minors who managed to reach Mytilene with their neighbours by boat. Their mother was still in Syria and their father was separated from his children and managed to reach Germany. The father was later located and came back to Mytilene with no resources. He was a young chap with sunken eyes, prominent cheekbones and looked very fearful as he had no money to take his children to Germany. With the help of your generous donations, we managed to purchase the tickets he needed himself and his children to go to Germany. He was very grateful and one could feel the sense of relief in his voice. The family remains incomplete without the mother who is still in Syria and we pray that one day she may be able to join them.”


Please help the refugees today in the name of Bibi Fatima (as). With your donation to the Europe Refugee Crisis 2016 Appeal, we can continue to provide more men, women and children the help they need as they arrive in Europe. Half of these families are from Sy ria. Our volunteers are already on the ground making a big impact. Will you support their efforts?