Providing help after the fire is difficult
After the fire, the OHF team focused on providing health care everywhere where needed. The center stayed closed during this time. Reopening was scheduled for the 17th with the medical team of Medical Volunteers International restarting their clinic. The massive police force blocked all roads, in order to force the majority of people to enter the new camp.
The government also announced that the new camp will be under quarantine, but people still could enter and exit the site. This is what allowed the following very positive news:
Finally: OHF opens again for everyone!
The situation remains worrying but OHF is finally open again.
With numbers limited to 100 at a time and strict measures for COVID, we are now welcoming visitors from 10am until 2pm. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, families and single women, and on Tuesday and Thursday, just single men.
People can again spend their time in this positive environment, get a coffee or tea at the Café, use computers in the Cybercafé, charge their phones, borrow games or balls.
Everyone has to register so that we know exactly who is entering/leaving when – this for Covid-19 reasons and to be sure to be able to do contact tracing if needed.
On the first day around 15 people had heard that OHF opened again, the second day already 60 people came to the Community Center and enjoyed the area. Those first two days were very calm but happy days, just what we all need after the past few weeks.
The expectation is that on Monday 28th September, 100 people will join OHFs activities. With the different groups for different days, we already try to balance out the fact that we can only allow a maximum of 100 people in. Nevertheless we are afraid that we will have to tell people that they can’t enter and will need to wait. Once a person is leaving the ground we can allow another person in. And the entrance of the new camp is around a 10 min walk from OHF, so having to tell people to come back again another time is a little less harder than with the former distance – around one hour – from Moria RIC. Nevertheless, these are the first steps and we are happy to be able to provide the space for some people at least.
Support of NGOs working inside Moria and the Olive Grove
The OHF had to remain closed for a long time and we would not be able to provide the usual and appropriate support to everyone. So, we mobilized our team and teamed up with other local grassroots NGOs to provide as much support as we could. Our team therefore helped with providing hygiene bags, supporting food distributions on the street and much more.
As you know, the police stranded the families on the road towards Mytilini, a few meters away from OHF. After four long days, they entered all the people in the now-former military shooting area where they have set up tents, the new camp.
We have seen the protests from the former residents of Moria. We have seen the large protests from Greek citizens around the country against the state policy. We are supporting this dedication that is providing us with a lot of energy to continue our work.
All together we are doing our best to help each other.