Last week we told you about Erian Baxter and her 19-year-old daughter Hannah who were flying to the Greek island of Lesvos to help with the waves of refugees fleeing Syria.
They’re part of a Deep Cove organized group called Canada Caring who felt the best way to help with the crisis was to lend their hands.
The two have now been on the ground for nearly a week, and today they spoke with Lynda Steele from Greece with an update on their mission.
On the ground
Erian says the two have settled in, despite the stormy weather and hard work. She says they’ve mostly been helping by sorting clothing and by sharing in the work of shuttling people around.
She says it has been an eye opening experience to meet the refugees face to face.
“They are all just like us, but they have faced the massive decision of taking their families away from their lands with a shopping bag of clothing.”
She says despite the ordeal they’ve gone through, the people she’s met have been polite and friendly. She says she was touched when one woman- also travelling with her daughter- thanked her after telling the story of how her husband had been shot dead.
“That stuck home to me, because I’m travelling with my teenage daughter.”
Hannah says on the ground, the main thing people need is warm socks and dry clothes, as they often arrive soaking wet.
She says it’s been sobering to see the difference between the camps Syrians and non-Syrians are kept in.
And she says she’s been moved by witnessing the trials people go through as they conquer this one short, but incredibly dangerous leg of their journey.
“People have to understand that they’re not leaving because they want to, they’re leaving because they have to. Because it’s safer than staying there. You have to know that people are risking so much, so obviously they’re fleeing from something really terrible that we can’t even understand, and we need to be accepting of that.”
She says even though university is waiting for her back at home, she’s already thinking about how she can get back to Greece to get involved again.