World Refugee Day

The past few months have been some of the most trying times our world has faced. This pandemic caused a huge loss of life and normality, with families torn apart, jobs lost and lives unsettled.

Vulnerable and marginalised people in our society who were already facing tough hardships felt the full brunt of the pandemic which has escalated the severity of their causeThey are cramped into sites where social distancing isn’t an option. Where clean water and sanitation aren't an everyday item but a one-off luxury if that. Yet the sense of community and solidarity never fails. To highlight #WorldRefugeeDay we’re shining a light on voices from the Moria Camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos. 

The Global Goals continues efforts to ensure clean water and sanitation for all, fight injustice and put a stop to inequalities.

Bethany, humanitarian volunteer

Moria is often dubbed the “worst refugee camp in Europe.” This year the camp’s population swelled past 20,000 - far exceeding its official capacity of 2,500. Not one basic need is met, from the taps that dribble water for a few hours a day to the medical facilities designed only to treat the most basic of ailments.  

Passing through its barbed-wire topped gates, the intensity of such a densely populated space is overwhelming. Its sprawling network of tents, containers and make-shift structures merge into one another as every sliver of space is taken over to squeeze in more people.  

Colourful clothes hang from wires overhead, while the air around rumbles with the sounds of hundreds of speakers and booming conversations. Neighbours drink tea as they watch their children play on the dusty paths. And the smell of “bulani” a delicious Afghan bread, wafts from a clay oven made from scratch by women chatting nearby. Moria is full of life and people trying to make something out of nothing.

 

Nazanin, resident of Moria

‘When it comes to the name of Moria, immediately all the thoughts go through the terrible available situations inside the camp such as overcrowding problems, horrible sanitation, lack of basic needs like water, electricity fuel and...

Definitely these can be the most important and problematic issues that are visible at a glance but if we pay attention deeply there are more hidden and unsaid things, let's think about the mother who crossed the dangerous borders to make her child's future but lost her in the fire, nothing left but burnt bones.

The father who lost his innocent boy during the crazy fights and no one asked why? How? 

Or Someone who came here to find peace and safety but is living in a more dangerous, unsafe and stressful place even more than the land he has come from. 

 

Mustafa Nadri, Filmmaker ReFOCUS Media Labs

But from what I've seen in Moria it changed my idea and the way of my thinking about Europe and EU I was thinking that Europe is the land of freedom and I've seen the opposite of it by now. They're right to tell their followers in Europe that we're illegal immigrants, but we're the result of their own political decisions which led my country towards civil war and poverty. No one would leave their home unless their home isn't safe. Unless their rights as humans aren't valuable anymore, why aren't ours?
We came to Europe to seek shelter, but they keep us in these camps. We're all getting to a point where the words "human rights" are just a bad joke, and not available for the poor and the powerless.

Follow the UN Refugee Agency to see how you can support

Photo credits: Ahmad Rezai & Mohammad Ali

Thanks to: ReFocus Media Labs