Rotary Club of Reading

GRASS ROOTS WORK IN GREECE (Reading Refugee Support Group 'Embrace Refugees')

Grass Roots

Maggie and her story is unfolding as you read this article - we will keep you up to date as her story progresses, she is currently addressing some challenging refugee problems in Greece. Most come from Iraq (Yadizi) where education is difficult to assess, most of the refugees want to go on to Germany (99%) and the team are working with the NGO's to provide services on site. This settlement is in an old holiday resort abandoned over ten years ago, pre-refugee times. Fortunately, conditions are better here than the average refugee camp, but they still have families of six in a single room.
Our latest communication with Maggie via Rtn. Tony Cowling is that there is so much to do they are not sure where to start. The team she has out there are amazing and are all working very hard, however they are always looking for more ideas and inspirations on how to solve some of the problems they are encountering now. Because of the temperature during the day nobody wants to do much and there is nothing much to do in the evenings, the heat affects the youngsters making them lethargic and disinterested, so the team are looking to set up a sprinkler play area for the children to keep them cool. A swimming pool is not the answer as many of the children are unable to swim and drownings have happened.

Where does the team start?
Planned are a Woman's Skill programme - where sewing machines are required - it is challenging getting the woman's engagement in the activities, but once they see the potential to earn a living, things should change, Unaccompanied minors are being given Healthy Living Guidance. Also, Computer Education, some of the refugees have been supplied with PC's but they are very old, the team took some much newer second -hand laptops which are going down well. The need to be computer literate is so essential in the modern world. The team will be there for six weeks working alongside UNHCR - there will be a progress report at the end of the teams' time there.

Related links

• Embracing Refugees Go visit >

• instagram, embrace.refugees Go visit >