A local woman has just returned from her second trip to Greece to help refugees currently stranded there.
Hilda Orr returned yesterday after spending a week helping a wide range of people who are waiting for their asylum requests to be processed.
Based in Athens she has distributed items donated to St. Vincent De Paul which the charity shipped by container to Greece on her behalf.
She has also made some stark observations on the situation there.
Talking about the desperation of refugees she said, “Words are inadequate to describe the magnitude of the catastrophe which has been caused right now by closing the door to thousands of families, single people and little kids.
“The image of a little boy, who somehow happened to speak a little English, staring up into my face and asking anxiously ‘When will the borders open?’ while the dark troubled eyes of his relatives stare intently into my face, carefully searching it for a slight glimmer of hope in my expression, is one I will find hard to forget.
“The question would better be asked, ‘When will our lives begin again?’, ‘When can our children go to school again?’, ‘When can we live in a real house again instead of a flimsy tent or a container?’, ‘When can we cook our own food again instead of having to queue up to receive a small portion of nutrient-compromised mush?’, ‘Please, please tell us this nightmare will soon be over!’
“My heart feels their intense pain as I am forced to be honest and utter those cruel words which once again cause these dear people and their little sad kids to sink further into utter despair and hopelessness: ‘The borders will not open.’”
While in Greece, Hilda also thanked those donating money to help her continue to help those in need.
“A big thank you to our recent donors who are keeping the funds flowing for those in great need here in Athens. Words fail me to adequately describe the desperation of the situation here. Everyone who can needs to come here and see this, but bring tissues because you will cry many times.
“We can’t change the appalling situation here in Greece but we can help make their lives a little bit more tolerable in some small ways and your kind donations helped to show them that people on the other side of the world care.”
You can donate to Hilda’s fund at http://bit.ly/1qX76Xd.