Doctors of The World welcome party for Kavala refugees
Doctors of the World (DotW) has led a party for refugees at a camp in North-East Greece.
DotW staff members threw the party, which included musical performances from local residents, food, drinks, dancing and speeches from refugees, to celebrate them moving from Chalkero, a mountainside refugee camp open to the elements, to a former military base on the edge of Kavala city.
The new location is within a bus ride of the city’s hospital, and a short walk to shops and other amenities.
It is also hoped that the new site – where all refugees can be housed in tents inside a large warehouse – will be more appropriate for the coming winter, though recent rain storms have revealed windows in the building’s roof leak.
DotW’s Kavala support field coordinator Anna Giovaniou, said: ‘The party was partially to celebrate the new place – the refugees had had some problems at Chalkero. It was cold and open to the elements, it had snakes and scorpions and it wasn’t a good place for children.
‘But the party was also just a chance for everyone to have some fun. It can be hard to live at a camp, and no-one wants to. We have been with these refugees since they arrived at Kavala port. Many of this team helped them off the boats, and so did some of the other people from Kavala who joined us for the day. We know this community, and we really wanted to give them a chance for a celebration, and to enjoy it with them.’
1) Kavala refugee camp has, at 21 October 2016, 112 residents, a number which has been steadily decreasing since August, when 240 people lived there. Some people have been relocated to other European countries, while some have been moved using money donated by potential host nations to hotels in Athens and Thessaloniki to await the outcome of their applications to move.
2) The 112 include: 27 men; 27 women; 31 girls; 27 boys. Nine people have applied to remain in Greece, 52 have applied for family reunification, and 51 to be relocated elsewhere in the EU. The process for relocation takes on average 6-8 months, but that of family reunification can take up to 18 months, because it requires checks on refugees’ family members in other EU states.
*The program is funded by the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid Department.