A member of our team, Mark, began the long drive back from Lesvos to the UK today, the very same journey thousands of refugees are embarking on daily.
He drove his van and trailer there to deliver the amazing 11 metre dome we have been donated by Pacific Domes to create a women and children’s centre.
The first leg of the journey is the ferry from Lesvos to mainland Greece. As they drove the van onto the ferry they passed a long long queue of refugees, carrying the little they have accumulated since arriving on Lesvos (most arrive with nothing), waiting patiently to board.
700 refugees would be boarding that ferry, they were told…
…But the strangest thing was, once aboard the ferry, they were nowhere to be found….
This is the message Mark wrote about the journey:
“I just went for a wander around the ferry.
Couldn’t work out how you lose 700+ souls on a ship this size.
Looked around the deck we are situated on. Not many people. A big group of what appears to be students returning from a sports event, some family groups, some friends traveling together and a smattering of volunteers. No refugees!!
I went down one deck and walked through a large double door with what appeared to be a crew member standing guard and looking antsy.
I’d found them.
I walked through to the rear deck surrounded by refugees chatting, sleeping, chasing babies as they escaped across the floor. Busy but by no means threatening. When I retraced my steps to the area where I had left Ben I found the door I had entered to find my 700+ refugees had been locked.
I was trapped on the ‘wrong’ side.
I had no idea they were segregated from us. Eventually I found a steward who let me into a corridor and back to the other side of the locked door. I’m now sat here on the other side of the door trying to think of just one word to describe how I feel now I’ve made this discovery. All I can think of is SAD.”
What is this? The bloody Titanic?
As far as I understand, each refugee has to pay the same amount as any other passenger for the crossing so I can’t wrap my head around this outright segregation.
We are all human.
We all live on this earth, and we should be sharing it accordingly.