23rd February 2016
This afternoon has been a stark contrast to this morning. Some people arrived on the island during the morning so I went along to the hotel where the families are housed whilst their documents are sorted and offered my help. I spent three hours in the room below helping people finding the replacement clothing they required.
This is a photograph of an aid distribution room in Kos
It was hectic and I quickly learnt that letting any more than a couple of people in at a time was a big mistake. Despite my best efforts some people went away empty handed and frustrated. My heart broke for the larger lady I couldn’t find the right size jeans for and the teenagers who looked appalled at my offering. There was not the time or the communication to do any more than I did but they were so grateful. The children were fairly easy to sort but understandably the mothers wanted the best for their kids. It is a small room so finding the perfect item for every specific request was quite a mission. What struck me most was the ‘older men ‘ though. They just looked absolutely beaten. Worry etched across their faces and their eyes so hollow. They waited till the last to come to the room and their requests were so humbling compared to the teenagers and mothers. One man was frozen to the core and so pleased to be offered a hat and scarf that he hadn’t requested. Another man looked like he was suffering from PTSD and I asked the translator to ask him if he needed to see a doctor but his family were quick to gather him up and continue on their journey. Even writing these words is so hard and I’m sat here sobbing as I tap. These people deserve so much more than the cast off’s they are expected to take graciously. As I was getting frustrated with the teenage boy holding up my queue I thought of my own nephews and how important image is to them at that age. They squeezed their feet into the most fashionable shoes they could find rather than accepting the less trendy ones that fitted. I remember being just like that. They are no different to us lovely readers despite the media’s best efforts to de-humanise. Out on boat patrol this evening so I need to dig deep, rest up and be brave. Thanks for listening/ reading. It helped to share x
. If you have been inspired to make a donation to help a family just like yours then please use the link below to my trusted charity partner Donate 4 Refugees I can absolutely guarantee that they get the money to exactly where it is needed the most.