HEADLINES

Greece: Canadian Volunteers On Front Lines Of Refugee Crisis

By Global News. February 6, 2016. Alistair Reign News Blog.

A volunteer helps a Syrian woman that collapsed while her husband cries as they arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (Petros Giannakouris/AP). A volunteer helps a Syrian woman that collapsed while her husband cries as they arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (Petros Giannakouris/AP).

Several infants crying, families arriving in over-crowded inflatable boats cold, exhausted and wet. These are some of the sights and sounds volunteers on Lesvos island say they can’t erase from their memory.

A volunteer lifeguard carries a baby as a half-sunken catamaran carrying around 150 refugees, most of them Syrians, arrives after crossing part of the Aegean sea from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos Friday. 2015 (Photo: Giorgos Moutafis/ Reuters).

A volunteer lifeguard carries a baby as a half-sunken catamaran carrying around 150 refugees, most of them Syrians, arrives after crossing part of the Aegean sea from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos Friday. 2015 (Photo: Giorgos Moutafis/ Reuters).

Some days you can sort of block it out because you know that you have to go through with it, and now break down or think about what you’re feeling. You have to go help people,” says Canadian refugee aid volunteer Natalia Wozniak.

With so many refugees and migrants arriving on the Greek island, people from around the world have stationed themselves to help, including volunteer life guards working out on the water.

We do have thermal cameras so we can spot boats from a distance but you’re not always 100 per cent sure until the boat is nearby and you can visually make out people,” says Canadian volunteer lifeguard Patrick McBride.

There are also many who are on the island welcoming, feeding and providing dry clothing for asylum seekers.

A wide range of roles are being filled by small non-profits and large NGOs.

Refugees and migrants arrive on Eftalou beach, west of the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on September 21, 2015. Europe's migrant crisis took centre-stage at the UN human rights council, as European states said the need to end the conflict in Syria was at an all-time high. IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Refugees and migrants arrive on Eftalou beach, west of the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on September 21, 2015. Europe’s migrant crisis took centre-stage at the UN human rights council, as European states said the need to end the conflict in Syria was at an all-time high. (Photo: AFP/ GETTY).

These people are fleeing war and there’s fragmented family units because of say a loss of life or maybe the entire family couldn’t afford the trip,” says McBride.

However, even on the worst days, some refugees are sent out onto the dangerous waters.

From what I’ve seen, these [refugees and migrants] are the doctors, the engineers, the nurses, the teachers, whatever profession, it’s those people from their respective societies,” says McBride.

Smugglers often give them a crash course on how to operate the boats and then they’re left to fend for themselves on the water, leading to some dangerous landings on the shore – for those that make it that far.

There are rocks, many many rocks, some just below the surface and those ones, if the boat is coming in at an odd angle, it’ll flip the boat so that’s happened on certain occasions,” says McBride.

However, many volunteers say no matter what conditions they arrive in, there’s one constant:

the appreciation from the refugees and migrants.

They’re usually very positive, they’re very happy to be here and they’re very cheerful. Obviously they’re very shocked and scared but at the same time they’re very happy and grateful to all of us,” says Wozniak.

🔝

Global News: Canadians discuss volunteering on the front lines of the refugee crisis

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is amongst 17 organizations and two individuals that sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today (January 5, 2016) urging him to press Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to halt the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and several other demonstrators from the country’s marginalized Eastern Province. On October 24 2015, the Saudi Supreme Court ratified the death sentence issued to Sheikh Nimr in October 2014. Since September, the Saudi criminal justice system has also ratified the death sentences of Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaher, three men arrested as minors in 2012 for their protest activity.
  • Yemen woman in bright scarf and hat, "War humiliated my daughter." Aunt Khemissa argument.
  • The remnants of a US drone strike on August 29, 2012 in Khashamir, Yemen. The strike killed three alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a policeman, and a cleric who preached against the armed group.
  • Two homeless brothers try to survive on the streets of India.
  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • Faces of the women who had their lives cut short by Pickton.
  • A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • Although the ISIS terrorist network has claimed to have hacked Department of Defense networks to gain personal information, it is fairly obvious much of the information came from social media websites. Individuals who are becoming targeted victims handed the required details over to the individuals calling for the attacks. Users of social media websites are urged to use caution whenever they are online to avoid attracting attention to themselves or inadvertently providing easily accessible information that could be turned into targeting data.
  • Mission The Islamic State are trying to create 'a state that does not recognise the previous borders of Iraq or Syria,' said Dr. Anne Aly, a Research Fellow at Curtin University. (Photo/source: Daily Mail Australia).
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees to Canada late Thursday night at Pearson International airport
  • The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945. (Photo: Public Domain). (Alistair Reign News Blog www.AlistairReignBlog.com).

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Donald Trump for President of the (Mexican free and NOW Muslim free) United Sates of America. (AlistairReignBlog.com),
  • What if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States?
  • I hate Monday
  • GOP Caption winner first place on AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled files stolen from Iran,
  • Where's Steve - Satire Cartoon
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Who is PM Stephen Harper
  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • Victoria's 'Homeless' Drug Addicts

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.