Refugees welcome - blog

Since I started in August 2015 to welcome refugees in Munich, 2016 in Idomeni camp and from 2017 on in Thessaloniki I have been writing texts to inform about the situation.

Sometimes also as a kind of therapy for myself.

I have been invited to read from my texts, speak about my experiences and give seminars.

 

In the years 2018-2021 I got € 33.427,89 donations from friends and people in solidarity from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Spain, Romania. 

In 2022 I got already € 146,50

That's amazing! That's solidarity!! Das ist großartig! Das ist Solidarität! 

Thank you! Danke! Ευχαριστώ! Ευχαριστούμε!

 

Zwar kann ich keine Spendenquittungen ausgeben, dafür kommt jeder Cent zuverlässig bei der Hilfe für geflüchtete und bedürftige Menschen an - jeder noch so kleine Betrag ist hilfreich. DANKE dafür!!

      

IBAN: DE14701500000903121812 / BIC: SSKMDEMM

PayPal: verena_fink@posteo.de

Ελληνικός λογαριασμός: GR8602602060000100201430994 / BIC: ERBKGRAA


21/01/2022

We are wondering these days - these very cold days - why only a few families are coming to take clothes. We are sure that there are people in town and in the camps around who need warm stuff. 

It is so difficult to coordinate all the time supply and demand.


17/01/2022

We are supporting them since two years maybe. The son is the only one allowed to hug me in that time in which I am staying away even from my closest friends. But this 14 years old guy is just so thankful that we support him and his mother and doesn’t know how easy they make it for us because they are so beautiful people.

The mother spoke today the first time Greek. The first time the son repeated in Kurdish what I said „speak by yourself, you can do it.“ What she wanted to say - and I am so happy that she did it in Greek - was that they got asylum now.

The older son (and maybe also the father) are in England, but there they cannot go due to the Brexit. To Germany they will go when they have their passport. Another couple of people who will get stuck there in the Dublin III procedure. Who have to begin again anew.

I hope he will find there again people he can hug.


16/01/2022

„Who left the baby there?“ he asked and I was laughing. Of course the mother was still around the corner to take - as she is doing from time to time since almost a year - clothes and foodstuff.

She is carrying the newborn wrapped in a blanket in front of her through the city. 

I don’t speak dari, she doesn’t speak none of my languages, but she knows that she can let the baby with me and I know that she is deeply thankful for our support and we smile at each other in the same language.

The baby was screaming


15/01/2022

It is always nice when she is coming. We prepared for her a package with foodstuff and wrote her name. She asked me what to do with the paper and I said „take it if you want.“

She took a pen and drew a heart for us.

She is so lovable.


14/01/2022

We had a huge donation from a supermarket. So we informed some of our families that they can come and take some foodstuff. As we don’t go at the market due to thousands of covid infections in Thessaloniki it is great that we can do this.

„You supported us already so many years“, she wrote. „Give it this time to other families who are also in need“.

This touched me.

This doesn’t happen very often.

It is not always „each for him/her/itself“.


10/01/2022

Wow, what an opening for me after so many days in which I had put myself in quarantine:

First a woman who was angry that she could not come a second time to take clothes because someone else was inside and then threw us the content of her bag in front of the door, then the guy who told me „the donations are for us and not for you“ when we could not give them again sleeping bags etc (as they already took the last two times). Insisting and insisting on taking more and more I told him that he and his mother have to leave and while leaving the place he told me that it is my job to help him and that I don’t have the right to make decisions here and what my name is.

…we are still laughing who of us few people who are running equally and voluntarily unpaid the place could be interested in learning my name by him to tell me that I am fired.


09/01/2020

She has been volunteering a couple of times with the organisation of clothes. Today she told me that only to see us she realised that we are all the time in a situation that is not easy to cope with. „Of course“ I said, because I am aware of it, but she meant something specific: „You never see a result, you never see that something is getting better, you always see only the needs. Again and again. And this must be psychological stress.“

Hmmmmmm…. Yes. She nailed it.


06/01/2022

In Greece at Epiphany the "blessing of the waters" takes place. The orthodox priest does this by casting a cross into the water and some men try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. 

This year pictures of men getting refugee children out of the water or of sinking boats in the Mediterranean get viral with subtitles like "Humans who caught the cross". 

No blessing for them in Greece. Actually they are facing prison for trafficking. 

As God doesn't know about religion and the many times weird traditions, I know they are blessed.                                                                                                     Pictures: unknown sources


05/01/2022

„It is so difficult”, she said. She is responsible for the coordination of the support in her organisation in which refugee women can get support. “We had to stop our Greek and English lessons. We don’t have coupons anymore to support the women financially and so also some colleagues lost their jobs”.

She just wanted to ask if we can support a woman - since more than one year we are cooperating and I know that she appreciates our work and even more because it is voluntary. We also spoke a bit how we feel and what happened in our lives the last couple of months. “I don’t get involved anymore emotionally. I think it is good and also bad.”. - “You protect yourself”, I replied. “Yes”, she said from the deep of her heart. She has to. We have to.


02/01/2022

 

I wish you all a happy and a blessed year 2022!

With health, love, friends, colors and light, with wonderful moments and the power to cope with the difficult moments.

 

I took a break the last days, I am afraid of the extremely arising infections in Greece and did not want to be with people. 

And after the decision I realized that I needed that break after that year, after all these years. As a friend from Oikopolis told me: "Try to relax as we don't have many things to do at the moment, before we will be busy again."

It was difficult for me to know that the two other people have to do my work, but it is true: Many activities don't take place at the moment and it was fine that I did only the "back office" the last days. 

I feel kind of ready to get in touch with all the needs again.

I feel kind of ready to continue with what we are doing since years.

I feel kind of ready to face our helplessness and our tiredness. Feel that I want to and can accept it.

 

Thank you everyone for the emotional and financial support during 2021, I have do admit that we are counting on it also in 2022. Alone we cannot make it.

Happy New Year! Καλή Χρονιά!


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Texts and pictures 06-12/2021
11.pdf
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Texts and pictures 11/2020-05/2021
10.pdf
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Texts and pictures 01/2020 - 10/2020
9.pdf
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Texts and pictures 04/2019 - 12/2019
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Texts and pictures 06/2018 - 03/2019
7.pdf
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Texts and pictures 04/2018-06/ 2018
6.pdf
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Texts and pictures 11/2017 - 03/2018
5.pdf
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Texte und Bilder - Thessaloniki 08/2017 - 11/2017
4.pdf
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Texte und Bilder - Thessaloniki/ Munich 04/2017 - 07/2017
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Texte und Bilder - Thessaloniki 12/2016 - 04/2017
2.pdf
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Texte und Bilder - Munich / Thessaloniki 09/2015 - 12/2016
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