From February 3rd to 12th, Marie and Frank travelled to Lesvos, to do volunteer work at the refugee camp Kara Tepe and organise a project week for students and teachers of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. On my own journey to Lesvos, airport security repeatedly forced me to remove my hijab, something I have only previously experienced in Xinjiang province, where the Chinese government is holding an estimated 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in so-called ‘re-education camps’ where rape and torture are reportedly systematic. Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Around 7,000 people live in the Kara Tepe II camp for refugees and migrants (in the background), erected last year on the island of Lesvos, Greece after the Moria camp was destroyed in a fire. Refugee for Refugees operates a warehouse near Moria Camp. In this setting, I worked in triage in a medical clinic made of port-a-cabins on the shoreline next to Kara Tepe II. It is a humane camp where people can live in dignity. Kara Tepe (Greek: Καρά Τεπέ, from Turkish for "black hill") is located about 2.5 km to the north of Mytilene, the capital of the island of Lesbos. He is anxious, and his sentences jumble together. Camp Care Comics is a series of engaging booklets and care kits that address unpleasant health conditions, such as lice, scabies and toxic stress in a fun and engaging way. In October, a group of 29 humanitarian NGOs called on the Greek parliament to investigate so-called “pushbacks” of asylum seekers from Greek territory back into Turkey, as well as outright extrajudicial expulsions, both of which would violate international non-refoulement law. These are only a few of the allegations made this year. On the streets of Mytilini, the main town on Lesvos, I was also stopped several times by police who seemed to find it hard to believe I was a Canadian citizen, not a refugee with a stolen passport. The stray dogs bite at my ankles. But Ahmad’s eyes fill with fear, and he backs away. It hosts over 1,000 people from primarily Afghanistan. 0. I came to Kara Tepe in May 2017 to volunteer with a group of other Harvard students. From 2015 to the present, tens of thousands of migrants and refugees trying to reach Western Europe have passed through the Kara Tepe camp. She has been wheezing all night. Follow me on twitter @FreyLindsayMCP, or email me on friederik.lindsay@gmail.com, © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. You are making it worse,” he cries. The director of a medical NGO operating in Greece called the law "worrying" but said they did not want to comment on the record for fear of being expelled from the camp. Our eventual goal is to create a sustainable refugee community not only from a quality of life perspective (which is part of our everyday relief operations) but also from an environmental perspective. (Elias Marcou/REUTERS). This year also saw raids against NGOs in Athens, with police confiscating equipment and data. Without saying a word, he takes off his jacket in the freezing cold and gently drapes it over Fatima’s shaking body. Kara Tepe is a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. Conditions in Kara Tepe II are arguably worse than in Moria, where the situation was already beyond dismal. Vodafone Foundation continued its response to the European refugee crisis by deploying a team of four volunteers to Kara Tepe refugee camp in October. “The Government has been doggedly pursuing a campaign against NGOs and civil society involvement in migration and asylum,” says Manos Moschopoulos, senior program officer for migration with Open Society Foundations. Das Zeltlager Kara Tepe soll nur provisorisch sein. It is a self-organised, autonomous space run by volunteers and is built on the principle of solidarity. ‘COVID has provided a pretext for dehumanisation to continue largely under the radar and with impunity.’. Marie worked in clothing distribution with a Dutch NGO, Movement On The Ground. According to the IRC, 62,000+ refugees fleeing violence are stranded in Greece.Many of them are living at Kara Tepe, a formerly empty site on the island of Lesbos. Hi everybody, From February 3rd to 12th I’m travelling to refugee camp Kara Tepe on Lesbos to do volunteer work. For the next three weeks, I stayed in Kara Tepe and Moria, the two refugee camps, as a volunteer for Save the Children, the international relief organization. Perhaps most notoriously this year, in September, a fire raged through the Moria detention center on the Greek island of Lesbos. The photo was taken in Kara Tepe camp by Jade Beall. The same regulation gave the Greek migration ministry broad powers to effectively shut down operations of any NGO that fell foul of them, which Moschopoulos described as a "blatant attempt to exclude people willing to speak up about abuses and wrongdoing within the state's official system.". Kara Tepe, the first camp I volunteered at, is a camp for families only. Doc Mobile and Sport for Refugees offer refugee support and activities at this center. A spokesperson for the Greek ministry of … She is shaking and shivering with a fever and showing signs of kidney infection and severe dehydration. Under the new law, workers operating within a refugee camp, including volunteers and government civil servants, are not to publicly share any information related to the operations or residents of the camp, and this applies even after they stop working there. The purpose of the camp is to provide temporary housing for asylum seekersas they await their registration processes. The Greek government has enacted a new law that prevents NGO workers and volunteers from talking about abuse, neglect or deprivation in the country's refugee camps. My face shield painfully whips against my cheeks. Last May, at Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, seven school-age children gathered at a table to play with crayons. Shelter at Kara Tepe refugee camp So, especially for the ladies, imagine yourself in this scenario. Resources on the island are stretched thin due to COVID. https://www.actvism.org/en/opinions/kara-tepe-refugee-camp-lesvos-greece Less visible than what happens on the Greek islands is the situation in camps on the mainland where tens of thousands of refugees live in similarly inadequate accommodation, are often denied access to asylum services, and are sometimes subject to violence from, it is alleged, the Greek police. Kara Tepe is considered the “good” camp on Lesvos. Ten days later Frank flew away to work at the refugee camp Kara Tepe. A Canadian physician who has provided medical care on the Syrian-Jordanian border, the Venezuelan-Colombian border, in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, on the Bosnian-Croatian border, and on the Greek island of Lesvos. Every night Frank told Marie about his experiences in the camp, which led to the plan to go together once more. In this exclusive video report produced by the Real News Network (TRNN), Dimitri Lascaris, correspondent for TRNN, provides context to the ongoing refugee crises and talks directly with two refugees from the Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, about their travel experiences as well as the reasons why they left their countries of origin.. Kara Tepe houses about 700 refugees. In news reports , Notis Mitarachi, Minister of Migration and … Around 7,000 people live in the Kara Tepe II camp for refugees and migrants (in the background), erected last year on the island of Lesvos, Greece after the Moria camp was destroyed in a fire. Together with a team of twelve others, my job was to set up a “child-friendly space” in each of the camps – a place where children who had survived ­crossing the Aegean Sea could play. In our clinic, we have essential medicines for a variety of medical conditions, our stethoscopes, and not much else. The news of the planned closure of Pikpa camp comes after the earlier announcement by the government that Kara Tepe Camp, also accommodating vulnerable people, must close by the end of December. I run some IV fluids and speak with Greek colleagues about transferring her to a hospital. Life in a refugee camp is difficult and staying mentally and physically healthy is a challenge for heroes! After a negative test, they will be able to see a doctor. From February 3rd to 12th, Marie and Frank travelled to Lesvos, to do volunteer work at the refugee camp Kara Tepe and organise a project week for students and teachers of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. A place where people on the move can access more than just their basic needs, but services and … Now, around 7,000 people are living in Kara Tepe II, a quickly erected, makeshift camp on a windswept, lead-contaminated, flood-prone patch of land next to the sea. My Experience at Kara Tepe. The conditions, the inhumane treatment in a place that was supposed to be a refuge, have left him believing he and his family have no future. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more. Since the the beginning of COVID lockdowns, there has been a 66 percent increase in attempted suicides and other self-harming behaviours amongst refugees on Lesvos. Breaking News; Kara Tepe: Babies bitten by rats in a refugee camp. He says this law is part of the same strategy, and is designed to prevent people from reporting on what's happening on the inside because that would make it "clear as day" that the government's narrative of greater control is distorted. And greater restrictions on refugees' movement due to the pandemic have seriously hampered their ability to access basic services, like healthcare. Do not close Pikpa down, replicate it. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. I struggle to comprehend how someone so frail survived the arduous journey. Perpetually overcrowded and under serviced, Moria burned down in September 2020 only to be temporarily replaced by Kara Tepe II, where conditions are reportedly worse. Go Project Hope will provide dental hygiene lessons to the children at Kara Tepe in Lesbos, Greece. My Experience at Kara Tepe A former army barracks designed to house only a few thousand people, the Moria center had swelled to possibly over 20,000 inhabitants by the beginning of 2020, making it one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. "That (narrative) is an illusion that would be very clear if the evidence came out," he says. north of Mytilene, a 10-minute walk from Kara Tepe camp. Rainfall floods dozens of tents in Kara Tepe camp 1,778 Views Dozens of tents were flooded and large parts of Kara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesvos came under water after a strong rainfall on Thursday, an expected development as many people warned about from the very first moment the camp was set up. New Lesvos refugee camp Kara Tepe sinks in the mud. But the pandemic has made even this small, autonomous act more difficult as security guards use social distancing measures as an excuse to deny refugees access to stores. The importance of an education. Source: Getty Images (obviously) When needed, these sorted boxes get moved 80 meters across the gravel access road to camp and into a green shipping container to restock the supply at the distribution point. EARTH MEDICINE is a charitable project for refugees in Europe. It is a terrible thing to have to decide who is and who is not deserving of care. 0 Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis paid a visit to the hot spot of Kara Tepe on the island of Lesvos at midnight Tuesday. We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. The Kara Tepe refugee camp on the outskirts of Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece. PIKPA is an open refugee camp in Mytilene, Lesvos. She also worked at Kara Tepe camp “which is considered palatial compared to Moria.” It accommodates over 1,200 refugees. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide. Lesvos Solidarity manages Pikpa camp. 24th April 2016 Today there was beef served for dinner at the Kara Tepe refugee camp so tensions were high; everyone is more eager to receive their share. Eight women live in one of 18 small basic rooms under a large tent, nicknamed "the women's camp." The child has been having diarrhoea for several days. In going from tent to tent and talking with families, we identified children with Instead, he tells me he was hung upside down and beaten for days. ‘I now know the choking effect of tear gas and the sounds of live bullets.’, ‘Maybe the humanity is in the fine print.’, ‘EU leaders are accountable not just to European voters, but also to the subjects of their policies – including the nearly 13,000 asylum seekers displaced from Moria.’, ‘I put my life in the hands of smugglers and traffickers and arrived safely. Following, for my applied field experience, I chose to travel to Greece and join HSA as a volunteer in Kara Tepe camp in Lesvos; a refugee camp in the largest transit point in the East Mediterranean route, which is the first assistance site for refugees and migrants departing from Turkey to Europe (HSA, 2016). This law is the latest step in what has been characterised as a crackdown on NGO workers and volunteers since the right-wing New Democracy party took over government mid-2019. To avoid retraumatisation, I gently ask him to simply answer “yes” or “no”. We provide distribution through a system where refugees receive much needed necessary aid […] By 2016, the world was in a crisis of a different sort as more than a million refugees fled war and unrest in search of a better life. I check vitals, screen for COVID symptoms, and try to decide who should be allowed through to see my fellow doctors and nurses inside. "Shirin", an Afghan journalist at Kara Tepe camp on Lesvos Kara Tepe is considered the “good” camp on Lesvos. Amid all this, says Open Society's Manos Moschopoulos, the government has doubled-down on closing off the refugee camps to the outside world, all the while denying the allegations of abuse and deprivation. I try to find a doctor from the Greek national health system, which is in charge of the isolation centre, but I’m gruffly told by Greek staff that the situation is under control. This striking quote from Laura, one of the founders of Movement On The Ground, truly applies to our resident and visiting volunteer-run clothing store in Kara Tepe. But if they test positive, they will be sent to the ‘isolation centre’, which is really a series of tents cordoned off behind barbed wire where necessary care is non-existent. He is a refugee and also lives in the camp. This dehumanisation started long before the pandemic, but COVID has provided a pretext for it to continue largely under the radar and with impunity – as evidenced by the increase in violent and illegal pushbacks at the EU’s external borders in the past year. 24th April 2016 Today there was beef served for dinner at the Kara Tepe refugee camp so tensions were high; everyone is more eager to receive their share. I write about business, migration and how the two intersect. The ‘lucky ones’ receive the few tickets we have available each day for dental care and scabies treatment. It’s an easy way to remove or prosecute NGOs and volunteers.”. The Greek government has enacted a new law that prevents NGO workers and volunteers … Critics have also alleged the government violated international law by suspending asylum procedure in March, instituted overly-punitive COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in camps, withheld integration support to those who have received asylum, tear-gassed protesters and shut down accommodation for asylum seekers. The phrasing of the law also means that should a government employee witness any criminal acts they should report it to their superior and nobody else. When I step outside to sip water from under my many layers of PPE, I see an Afghan woman behind the barbed wire separating the COVID ‘isolation centre’ from the clinic. We offer physical rehabilitation treatments for refugees and migrants who have come to Europe from countries at war and countries under violent political and ethnic conflicts. “We came to you for help, and you aren’t helping. In the end only a few hundred unaccompanied minors and other asylum seekers were taken off the island. Hope and Peace Center Our Hope and Peace Community and Distribution Center is only a few hundred meters away from Kara Tepe Refugee Camp, which is the new camp built following the fire at Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos Island in Greece. So far, about 9,000 people have registered in Kara Tepe: according to the number of guests registered in Moria before the fire, about 2,000 migrants are still missing. Last May, at Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, seven school-age children gathered at a table to play with crayons. The wind threatens to yank off my carefully tied hijab. Kara Tepe refugee camp, on Lesvos, Greece. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story. He has a sharp pain running from his head to his toes, and he can’t sleep at night. One NGO worker who has spent years working on the island of Lesvos, where tens of thousands of refugees have been held in prolonged, cramped and unsanitary conditions, called the new law “crazy.”, “It won't stop information getting out," said the worker who preferred not to be named, "the residents will get the word out, but if it is the case (that this law is real) it just highlights how draconian the new regime is. Many NGOs have been caught by surprise by the new law, with some scrambling to figure out what this means for their ability to operate in the camps. Since my last visit, in February 2020, Moria – long a symbol of the failures of EU migration policy – has burned to the ground. One Happy Family Community Center is located 4.9 km. The New Democracy government has been keen to show they are better able to manage migration within the country, with a greater emphasis on control, than the previous Syriza government. On Lesbos alone, 49 children and young people with … Our beloved puppet Abu Rami will visit Kara Tepe with a special lesson and will pass out dental kits to children and caregivers. Since 19 March, migrants must gain police or security authorities’ written permission before leaving the refugee camps in Moria and Kara Tepe - the two main state run refugee camps in Lesvos.

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