Lagkadikia: Self-organization Jafra-Team Greece „Refugees to Refugees“

IMG_0967The Camp of Lagkadikia is located aroud 40 minutes drive east of Thessaloniki. The camp is run by the UNHCR and the Ministry of Migration Greece . Also the Danish Refugee Council is present. Military and police are controlling the entrace with half a dozen people. It is about one kilomter walking from the village of Lagkadikia, where there is nothing exept a small supermarket and a few small cafés, to the camp. The terrain is fenced and an extra high fence is protecting the containers of the Ministry of Migrtion and the UNHCR. Most of the tents are exposed o the burning sun and there is a lack of shadow. Huge piles of rubbish are in the camp and some of the taps do not work constantly. A family tells us that they prefer to buy their own food because the provided food from UNHCR is not good.

IMG_0968There is no real cooking plate they could use. On the terrain there is some old building without wondows and doors, some even without a roof. Most of them are empty. Somebody sprayed on the building what it could be used for.

There is a builing where a school was installed. Some residents told us that the DRC is no real help and also the UNHCR is not doing anything to improve the situation exept the registration of people arriving.

Some residents reported that they already spent around four ore five months in greece and that they havebeen brought here after the eviction of Idomeni.

IMG_0971A young women from Syria reported that she was already studying in Syria until war came and her family was forced to leave the country. Also her sister had already started to become a medical doctor. Both hope that they will be able to continue their studies – maybe in Germany. Their father told us that he is afraid that his children will not be able to continue their studies for a long time and the chance for a good future is disppearing. They already start to forget a lot of what they once learned because of the fianeance and waiting.

In Lagkadikia we met the refugee-self-organization „Jafra in Greece – Refugees to Refugees“. They had already been working in refugeecamps for palestinian refugees is Syria. On activist told us that he was forces to leave Syria himself and he came to Lagkadikia camp because he heared that a lot of families will be brought there. „Jafra“ started to build up their own medical service, pychosicial support for traumatized children, a technical team to solve problems and a school-team. They want to build up their own structures, improve their own situation to break the endless faineance and dependence and use own ressources and know-how. Meanwhile already 35 residents of the camp joines „Jafra“. „Jafra“ is able to articulate the needs of the camp-residents toward the Ministry of Migration, UNHCR and DRC and they have their own containers.

They report about their activities daily on their facbook-website.

Jafra Team in Greece

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Description of their work (from Jafra Facebook)

„We are a group of 8 civil activists who used to work with afflicted people inside Syria and Lebanon. We were gathered in Idomini Camp at the Macadonian borders. The fact that people are in critical need of emergency interventions especially that the children needs are rapidly escalating, urged us to start up an initiative. Considering our past experience in psychosocial support program, we started providing psychosocial support and awareness sessions to children of ages 6-15 years. Luckily we received a small aid with few tools, yet the fact that we are refugees working with refugees is challenging. We opened the school tent in Idomini Camp where we worked for three weeks prior moving to Lakathia Camp which is under the supervision of UNHCR in time when no other organization is operating inside the camp. We hope to be able to engage also youth and adults with the same activities. Lakathia Camp needs cleaning services regarding that there is no service provision inside the camp. Thus we are trying to fill the gap and keep the humanitarian standards maintained.

Contact at +30 694 898 7931
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نحن مجموعة تتألف من 8 نشطاء مدنيين حيث كنا نعمل مع اللاجئين في سوريا ولبنان. اجتمعنا كمجموعة في مخيم ايدوميني على الحدود المقدونية الذي يوجد فيه حاجة كبرى لتدخلات طارئة وخصوصاً أن حاجات الأطفال تتزايد. حالة المخيم هذه دفعتنا الى القيام بمبادرة وبما أننا نملك خبرة سابقة في برنامج الدعم النفسي، بدأنا بتقديم جلسات دعم نفسي وتوعية لأطفال تبلغ أعمارهم ما بين 6و15 سنة. كنا محظوظين بحصولنا على دعم صغير لبعض المستلزمات البسيطة ولكننا نواجه تحديات كبيرة خاصة أننا لاجئون نعمل مع لاجئين. انشأنا خيمة كمدرسة في مخيم إيدوميني حيث قدمنا الجلسات لمدة 3 أسابيع قبل انتقالنا لمخيم لكاثيا الذي هو تحت اشراف الUNHCR ولكن ليس هناك أي منظمة أخرى تعمل في المخيم. نأمل أن نشارك الشباب والبالغين أيضاً في هذا النوع من الأنشطة. مخيم لكاثيا بحاجة لخدمات نظافة حيث أنه يفتقر من أي تقديم للخدمات ومن هنا نحن نريد أن تلبية الحاجة الموجودة عبر تقديم المساعدة للاجئين كمحاولة للحفاظ على المستوى الإنساني لهم.

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