The shore in Lesbos | Photo courtesy of IsraAID
Last week, we shared how your donations are making a difference on a large scale to help more than a dozen organizations in the Syrian Refugee Relief fund provide care to refugees. This week we wanted to give you the opportunity to meet the people, refugees and volunteers alike, whom your donations are impacting.
3,000 Refugees Arriving in Lesbos Each Day
This past year, 4.2 million refugees have fled their homes in Syria, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge through the small Greek island of Lesbos.
The needs of refugees arriving vary from immediate medical aid to psychosocial support for families upon arrival. As the number of Syrian refugees arriving in Greece in 2015 started steadily rising, IsraAID quickly mobilized a team of volunteers to help on the shores. You can see a video account from Lesbos here.
Dr. Iris Adler and Melek Abu-Grara, have been on the front lines in Lesbos for months, tending to the immediate needs of refugees and bearing witness to heartbreaking tragedies and incredible miracles—sometimes both in the same day.
This past October, Abu-Grara and Dr. Adler spent a night with a grieving mother, who had lost her 8-month-old son earlier that day. Even after the long night of sorrow, they both went straight back to work in the morning; tending to the refugees arriving on rafts and boats from Turkey. Though the day started with sadness, it ended with joy as Dr. Adler and Malek assisted a Syrian woman who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on the beach in Lesbos, hundreds of miles from her home. Alongside the IsraAID team, Dr. Adler and Abu-Grara tended to the new mother and her son, ensuring she and the newborn were safe until an ambulance arrived.
The Long Road From Syria to Serbia
2,500 kilometers: that’s how far 10-year-old Abdul walked in four months after fleeing his home and leaving his family behind in Syria to reach safety in Belgrade.
In Pomoc Deci’s latest update, Abdul recounted his journey, “My parents remained in Damascus to take care of my brothers and sisters. My father told me to go to Germany and he would find me there.”
Whether or not Adbul will be reunited with his family remains uncertain. "I'm afraid bombs might kill them. In my country is a war, it's horrible. I keep asking myself whether I would see them again. And if I get to Germany, would they manage to find me there," said Abdul.
Since arriving in Serbia, Abdul has found companionship among the older refugees, who have taken him under their wing and will be making the move towards Germany together. Even though Abdul is without his family, he has remained courageous and resilient in this time of overwhelming chaos.
As the Syrian refugee crisis worsens, stories similar to Adbul’s are becoming more and more common. Thankfully, high-impact organizations like Pomoc Deci and IsraAID are continuously working to provide the immediate aid and necessities refugees arriving in neighboring countries.
In 2015, your donations have helped courageous children like Abdul, they’ve provided new mothers with immediate medical care, and will continue to make a lasting impact into the new year. From the bottom of our hearts at GlobalGiving, we wanted say thank you, for both making a contribution and taking the time to learn about the escalating crisis in Syria.
Abdul in Serbia | Photo courtesy of Pomoc Deci