MILESTONE - FIRST WEEKS, SUMMER 2021
REFUGEE SITUATION IN LESVOS AND UPDATE OF TOLOU'S PROJECTS WEEKS AFTER WEEKS
300 NEW REJECTIONS ANNOUNCED
Last Monday, 300 people received their second rejection, synonymous with forced departure. The camp is gradually emptying, at the rhythm of the rejections. The scenario repeats itself. After a second rejection, these people - who arrived on this island not without hope and risk and who have survived for nearly two years in a refugee camp - are asked to return home or to continue their journey illegally.
Among them, Amir, 22, an Afghan teacher who has been teaching English with us in the camp since 2019. He is thinking of attempting a passage to Europe in July, after figuring out how to gather the necessary money after having exhausted his savings to come? Give in to the smugglers and pay an astronomical amount of money to ensure some semblance of safety or choose the cheapest and therefore most dangerous route.
COMMUNITY SCHOOLS MEETING
In Lesvos, about 10 independent schools have been created. Sometimes on the initiative of a refugee wishing to pass on his time, sometimes on the initiative of an NGO in response to the inaction of the government. After several years, a weekly meeting has been fixed by the authorities of the camp, testifying to an awareness of the need to join forces to bring a collective response and to alleviate the problems that are common to all of us on the island: the absence of a decent place, the deplorable conditions and the lack of means.
Listening to each other is already a big step, but we hope for concrete answers to the problems raised.
ALARM ABOUT THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
If the situation in Afghanistan was already alarming, it has clearly deteriorated with the departure of the United States and the advance of the Taliban. The latter claim to have taken possession of 85% of the country, directly threatening the security of the population.
This news is quickly circulating within the Afghan community of Lesbos.
With Yadullah, a 24-year-old Afghan refugee, we decided to write: a way to relieve the pressure, to get rid of the feeling of powerlessness by trying to inform public opinion.
IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR - DESMOND TUTU
SEVENTEENTH BIRTHDAY IN LESVOS
She arrived when she was 14 and is now 17. Friday was the birthday of Narges, the English teacher who became the manager of our school in the camp. There is a lot to say about this reserved young Afghan who commands respect by her maturity. This weekend at home was the first time she slept outside the tent and saw Mytilene at night... things that are so simple in Europe for a teenager of her age. It makes you try to imagine what it is like to be 17 years old in Lesbos: to be deprived of a schooling, of dreams and perspectives. Life there is punctuated by waiting, extreme conditions, departures and uncertainty. Her family has just launched a second appeal, the last chance to obtain a passport for Europe.
In the meantime, she works as an interpreter in a psychology clinic and as a school coordinator: negotiating a new place, recruiting teachers and dealing with problems. However, she should be in high school, preparing for her future. She wants to become a doctor and since the camp she has been asking about training, study time, etc.
KIKARAKADA PROJECT IN MYTILENE
The Kikarakada project, from the Spanish Basque country, had organized a "chocolate party" with the children of the Moria camp in 2019. They are coming back after selling photo books, in the hope of finding these children despite the massive departures. As well as to send donations to 3 educational projects including the one in Tolou: tables, chairs, school supplies, musical instruments, etc.
This Sunday was the last chocolate party of the project, the occasion to close the loop and to meet the students and teachers of the school of Mytilene, to be renewed soon!