The Syrian refugees at the Idomeni refugee camp all have a story to tell. We look at the current refugee crisis and the effects of war on a personal level when we meet Syrian children living in extreme poverty at refugee camps, and the charity organizations that are helping.
We’re very close to the Macedonian border. For two days, we’ve been walking through a sea of tents – makeshift homes for thousands of refugees who have been forced to leave their countries due to war.
In Idomeni refugee camp the tents are next to one another, often joined together with sheets of plastic to create little communal spaces, where being together is what matters, especially with family.
Many women in the refugee camp are pregnant. In civilised countries, pregnant women enjoy many privileges, like having special parking spaces, jumping queues in public places, priority boarding on planes… It is inhumane to force a woman to live out her pregnancy in a tent.
In the refugee camp, there are many newborn babies, and many problems.
“My name is Samar, I’m 13 years old. I’m Syrian. Because of the war, life in Syria became horrible. That’s why we left, hoping to get to Germany. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible. We’re stuck here in Idomeni refugee camp because someone decided to close the border. I live in a small tent here. In Syria, I lived in a real house, but a bomb destroyed it. Living here isn’t nice”.
“We fled Aleppo because of the war. We crossed Turkey and entered Greece illegally, hoping for a normal life. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’ve been trapped in this refugee camp for two months. We want to continue on to Germany, but the border has been closed”.
We’ve got nothing in this refugee camp : no food, no medicine… People are getting ill, but there are no doctors. We’re hungry. What can be done about us? We feel like we’re in a trap”.
“I am Anàs Fathalla, I come from Iblib, Syria. We were bombed, and my wife and I were forced to flee. She’s nine months pregnant. The situation is terrible here. We live in this refugee camp in a small tent. There isn’t space for anything, not even our few belongings. I ask the European states and the people who are responsible for human rights to consider our situation, our difficulties, our tragedy. I’m afraid for my child. I’m afraid that he will be born and grow up in a refugee camp tent. I hope that the European states will consider our situation.
My little one sleeps here (indicates his wife’s belly), waiting to discover his future, the things his father dreamt of but couldn’t do because of the war. I hope that my son will have a better life than mine – a dignified life, not in this tent. I hope you will help us”.
“There’s no milk for the newborn babies here. My baby is a month and a half old. There’s no milk and there are no doctors. The baby is ill. They don’t give us anything. They give us milk that gives the baby a stomach ache”. “We came to Europe because its inhabitants understand humanity, human rights, children’s rights, mother’s rights. But you have left us here, trapped in a refugee camp. Other refugees, those who arrived before us, have been welcomed into Europe. Us?