16th July 2015
This morning a group of volunteers from Molyvos (including some tourists) came to do some cleaning at KARATEPE together with the refugees. They also cleaned the toilets!
They worked together with the refugees. It was amazing. Thank you very much everyone who did it!
Also I saw two people from Unicef handing out some colourful booklets to children.
(sidenote: I have been informed that it was no professional official Unicef workers. They are volunteers of Unicef wearing Unicef shirts which gave me the wrong impression. One of those two volunteers has written to me and corrected me, it was in fact “150 complete draw and colours kit destined to children aged between 4/5 to 6 years”)
To be honest, I got extremely angry. They are desperately missed the whole time and on cleaning day what do they do? Handing out some children´s booklets to dehydrated, hungry and (most of them) sick children. You really think that is what they need?
(sidenote: above-mentioned volunteer is furious with my word choice and I must admit that I did let myself get quite lurid in this one. They hopefully and probably weren´t (all) dehydrated. But they definitely were all of them hungry and I am sure that most of them had diarrhoea. (I spoke to so many of them during those days and ALL of them said that their kids had it. There is no doubt they even said it in Persian and explained exactly.) I am sorry that I wrote “dehydrated”. Many refugees told me that they were afraid to drink the water during that time. I inferred from this that people wouldn´t like to drink the water and neither have money to buy water.. But yes! This was just my assumption and hopefully wrong! I am sorry I should not have used that word. I will try to not use this kind of writing again. It was no good.
This however is all that I´d like to change. I stand by what I wrote, it is still my opinion.)
Also the way they were doing it came across extremely amateurish. I am sure that not every child got a booklet. I saw some get in raws with each other because one child had gotten a booklet and another had not. This is not how you do it.
I know I am harshly criticizing but I cannot stay neutral in this. They are a big NGO. I´ve seen them the first time today! It´s nice they came but I honestly hope they will also do other things than handing out (not enough) colouring books. The people there are still in desperate need of doctors, food, clean water and clothes! Also I hope the hygiene situation has tremendously been improved today and stays stable at least for a little while.
However keep in mind that Karatepe is a first registration camp for people who have just arrived. (meaning: they just survived the horrorfying boat trip and most of them have wandered many many hours over the island)
It is inhumane to ask from them too much responsibility. Today however they still took a lot of it while cleaning! I have high respect for that!