Dispatches from Chios
Chios and Lesbos are two of the Greek islands most affected by the phenomenon of migration. Every day, refugees flee the war and try to cross the sea that separates Turkey’s coasts and those of Greece. Many of them come from Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. Despite the strip of sea that separates the Turkish coast from Greece, only 3km, migrants crossing the ocean at night either when the weather is good or in adverse conditions. The important thing is to arrive in a safe harbor, regardless of the weather conditions.
Traffickers do not care about the conditions of migrants. Each of them is given a fake life jacket. Not only does this not save lives; on the contrary, it is often an impediment. Most people arrive at their destination wholly wet and, in most cases, have lost everything, passport, jewelry, children’s toys, books, shoes during the crossing.
In Chios, many volunteers come from abroad to bring concrete help to refugees when they disembark on Chios’ shores. Those who land on the island’s coasts are given the bare essentials to continue their journey—food, dry clothes, and food for adults and babies. Most of them are pregnant women, newborn babies, boys, and girls alone or accompanied by their parents, brothers, and sisters.
Several days later, the refugees receive permission to leave Chios and continue their journey by ferry to Athens to continue their journey outside Greece, attempting to cross Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary. On the Balkan route.