Saturday, a day off from the clinic. But still work to be done so the team split up. Cathy and Lily went to the Home For All warehouse and sorted and bagged clothes for distribution. There is an urgent need for warm clothes and coats as winter weather approaches . . , predicted for Monday. Tama, Sid and I went to work in the new CMA medication/ medical supply storage container which is located across from the new camp at the One Happy Family Refugee Community Center, which is closed due to covid lockdown.
The Community Center is such a powerful support place for refugees — it provides NORMALCY. We don’t often think about what normalcy means. Now with global pandemic we mourn our normal activities. Refugees are in continual survival mode. From the situations in their country that forces them to leave, their journey to Greece where they present themselves for asylum, to life in the refugee camps where basic human needs are barely met. Many in the camps wait for years. The One Happy Family provides a lovely space for having tea with friends, a computer lab, a children’s playground, an exercise center, volleyball court, yoga studio, etc. A place to be normal. A place where there is laughter, depression is lessened for the time they are there.
It is so sad that it is closed now and there is some fear the camp will continue to be “closed”. Meaning limited time out of the camp. Now a refugee gets 4 hours a week to leave the camp. They do it by numbers so a limited amount of people are allowed to leave everyday.
Greece extended the lockdown for another week. We miss the normalcy of our Greek experience as we cannot sit at the port coffee shops, visit the tavernas. But oh, we have such comfort in our air bnb.
Normalcy. I am struck by how important this is for everyone.