Report from 5 refugee camps we recently visited

Malakasa CampMalakasa’s entrance is closed, and the security guards are harsh with the migrants. People from the camp mentioned that the camp offers them internet access only for 8 hours a day and that at peak hours it gets extremely slow. A guy was desperate, after his brother was granted asylum but himself and his family not. His brother is a minor with a serious health condition and cannot take care of himself. There isn’t any provision from the state or camp management and the people who look after him got rejected.Food is not good. It’ not anymore possible to them to disribute the food as it was before.Ritsona campEntrance was closed. You need to ask for permission two days earlier.Kurdish and African people were eager to speak with us. Food is inedible, ‘even the dogs don’t touch it’ they said. Lots of them are afraid to go to Athens because fear possible arrests. Lots of people with medical problems, only a few buses to Athens. Fortunately, people support themselves through community networks inside the camp but also abroad (for food, medicine etc). Many peopl want to go to Germany. Some of them were already registered in Greece, why they were afraid to be deported back to Greece.-Not taking migrants into account when they arrive for registration-The abandonment of the migrant to his fate once in the camp (to manage on his own to find a place to sleep)- the administrative slowness in processing files- Lack of support for medical care due to lack of administrative papers (police and credit card)- The failure to provide food to migrants who do not have administrative documents- the lack of social workers to deal with migrants’ problems- the withdrawal of the right of IOM lawyers to assist migrants- I.e. abandoning migrants in various legal proceedingsSchisto campYoung migrants shared with us experiences of extreme border violence. There was a big discussion with a guy about their hatred against greek military and police, ‘’is military and police bad just in Greece or maybe everywhere?’’ A lot of young migrants work in Athens in really shitty conditions. Two of the people we talked to had prestigious university degrees (in law and in medicine respectively) but they hadn’t even thought about getting them recognised. A lot of people want to leave Greece to find a better situation in other EU countries, mostly in Germany. Food is good but people that don’t have pending asylum applications don’t eat. They support themselves through solidarity networks of their own. We heard a story of the Moroccan guy that has a girlfriend in Germany and tries to cross all the countries in between in order to be with her, the racism he faced but also the unexpected solidarity from locals and migrants and the bondsdbonds he developed. Other people’s stories that want to reunite with their families that have reached the european North.We played some soccer with a boy and two adults. Other kids painted, played chasing games amd performed magic tricks.. People complained about the lack of activities especially for adults. When they try to organise something on their own, the camp management doesn’t provide the space.Thiva campCamp is very far away from Athens, 45 min walk to ThivaIn Thiva a lot of people are 4-5 years here waiting to get the documents.Ask for some classes from NGOs maybe camp manager “does not want us to connect us with people from the outside, with Greeks, wants us to be stupid”.Camp is run by IOM.No activities for kids, they play one smartphone game throughout the days.A lawyer came some time to the camp saying that the camp will be closed with special cards that you will have to show at the entrance, all the people who were rejected etc. will have to leave the camp – the lawyer said this is done under the pretense to make place for Ukrainians.Women need a separate space for gymnastics or sport the man have football place to play and a gym, women cannot enter.Kids boys go to other camps to play football there was a competition.500 people 1 doctor, 5 social workers do nothing.The only thing allowed and which is happening is 2 shops run by the refugees – the manager allowed it because people said they needed it.Manager did not allow library to happen, to bring books from the outsideOnly 5 bathroms for many rooms in bigger building.Three protests in winter with no success, with only people from the camp, they blocked the road did not let cars go through.Inofita camp visitoinofita150-200 people inside, people from Afganistan and Kurds from SyriaWe were not let in because the manager wants no one with a European passport insideX who is there for 4 years, there was self-organised security and cleaning, around five month ago new manager hired security and stopped allowing entrance to organizations that even simply bring food inside (Foodkind was the one) X. works in good conditions in an aluminium production nearby.Food is atrocious, a lot of people throw it away, although there money was cut – from 150 Euro to 75 Euro for the family as they are paying for this food now.Everyone wants to leave Greece “no future here”.The new manager that changed the situation to the worse is a daughter of some politician.Train station 15 minutes walk from the camp.IOM has a school inside for the kids but it is not good, mostly for show. Some kids are brought to outside school by bus. But it is only for kids not education for adults.P.S: Photos from Schisto camp

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