In February 2018, the Hands on Global team first went to Lesvos, Greece. We provided medical care via a mobile clinic at the Moria Refugee Camp. Our team returned to the Lesvos Camps, (MORIA AND KARA TEPE 2) 6 times to provide primary medical care in collaboration with other medical NGOs.
ON THE GROUND WITH HANDS ON GLOBAL
Hands On Global had boots on the ground for 7 months in 2021
Moria / Kara Tepe 2 Camps. We began work there in 2018. We provided medical care via a mobile clinic at the Moria Refugee Camp. Our team has returned to Greece 7 times to provide service in these camps. Moria Camp was a disaster. It was said to be the “worst” refugee camp. It was built to house 2,000 people as a military prison. In 2020 it housed over 25,000 refugees. There were two overflow camps, the Olive Grove and the Jungle housing refugees in shabby tents and plastic makeshift shelters.
In September 2020 the Moria camp burnt to the ground causing 25,000 refugees to be homeless. It was a nightmare to all; the refugees, the NGO’s, the Greek Government. Refugees were stuck living on the road with no shelter and minimal food and water. This, during the Covid pandemic.
In October 2020, the new camp, Kara Tepe 2, was opened on an old military firing range next to the Aegean Sea. Our team arrived Nov 5, 2020.Refugees were forced to move into this camp and into summer tents. First rain, the camp flooded. NGOs scrambled to dig ditches and provide wooden pallets to elevate the tents. Cold wind and rain blow through these tents constantly. Initially there was a shortage of sanitary facilities, refugees had to bathe in the sea.
Basic necessities had been lost in the fire and needed to be replaced. Warm clothing, coats and shoes were desperately needed for the coming winter. The camp food is the same MRE’s – unpalatable and culturally inappropriate for most refugees. Those who can, cook meager meal, buying food with the 70 euros a month they get from the UNHCR. The camp is “closed” and refugees are only permitted outside the camp once a week for 4 hours on a rotating basis, 100 at a time. There is a heavy police presence in the camp making it feel very oppressive.