We each remember the past 3 months in our own way.
We each experienced different lockdowns and differing challenges.
The announcement of lockdown came quickly in Greece. Overnight, our centres were closed and our volunteer teams rendered housebound. Across the country, the nationwide refrain ‘μενουμε σπιτι’ (‘We stay at home!’) rang dark and ironic as refugees stayed stuck in tents and overcrowded containers.
We entered this period with confusion and concern. Would the virus spread rapidly through the island camps? How would the underfunded local hospitals cope with patients that bring with them serious underlying health conditions? How long would this continue - and what would it mean for our organisation - operating with small reserves and short-term funding?
But as we met to plan the coming months, we were sure of one thing. We knew we would look back on this period and say: we did all we could in the hardest of circumstances.
Our centres may have closed; our movement may have been restricted; our impact reduced. Nevertheless, we have still fought to make a difference.
And as the political and social context descended into chaos; as the world seemed to use COVID-19 as a pretext under which to commit yet more atrocities and human rights violations, we kept active. We have demonstrated against these transgressions in word and deed.
This report looks back on what took place between April and June, 3 months spent largely under lockdown. From emergency responses to camp fires; from new ways of supporting unaccompanied minors to far-reaching advocacy campaigns and action days; from open letters and joint statements to fundraisers and public awareness initiatives; from renovations to the re-opening of our centres, this report looks back on the recent past with positive conviction.
And as we take the next steps forward into a future changed by violence and virus alike, we stand stronger than ever.