Send Angie Back to Greece!
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Send Angie Back to Greece!

A new year, a new journey. After ten days in Gevgelija camp, in FYROM, a year ago, and three months in Idomeni, northern Greece, I am returning to the birthplace of European dem...

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  • 06/01/2017

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A new year, a new journey. After ten days in Gevgelija camp, in FYROM, a year ago, and three months in Idomeni, northern Greece, I am returning to the birthplace of European democracy, where 60.000 people are slowly dying in refugee camps.

A new year, a new journey. Here I am, back on the road with my heart in my hands, doing what I truly believe in.

After ten days in Gevgelija, FYROM, a year ago, and three months in Idomeni, northern Greece, I am returning to the birthplace of democracy where 60.000 people are slowly dying in refugee camps all across the country. I will be leaving in January, my return date unknown, and this time I will go by myself, unattached to any NGO´s or respective official channels. My goal and proposition is to render assistance to any camp that I am able to travel to (considering any legal and financial restraints), from Serres to Athens, covering the entirety of continental Greece.

I can cover travel costs on my own, to a certain degree, but I am in need of assistance to cover essential living costs and mainly to be able to respond to any needs I may encounter and face at each specific refugee camp.

Those who need must ask, and so it is that I once again ask of you and from you, that you trust in my goodwill and entrust me with whatever you may part with as each cent may end up making a difference in someone´s life. 

Am I going alone? Never.

We go Together. Always.

About the author

I have a degree in Publicity and PR and have led a professional career in different areas of the Communications sector since finishing my degree in July of 2007. Last February I put a pause on my career to embrace a medium-length humanitarian project, having returned in May.

Did I say returned? Well, the truth is I may be physically here, try as I might root myself in this ground once again. In February, after a small first mission in the Gevgelija refugee camp in FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) during December, I said goodbye to my country and roamed towards Idomeni, Greece. Three months of love and hatred, three months that you feel as if a window into nothingness, in regards to the immensity that you have been entrusted with, three months that one may count as decades in the compass of my then frantic heartbeats, of what I lived, experienced, gave, brought, changed, of what I am made of today.  I came back, not of my own volition but due to an inability to continue to fund myself as a volunteer. There were still bills to pay adding up back home and life has always found me to be the kind of person who works to pay for what I have. It would probably be easier to help others were I born under a different star, but I have been proud of knowing the value and the cost of each step I take. So I returned, to find a new job, to pay the bills that were waiting for my arrival, to restart the engine of a life where I no longer felt I was myself.

These past five months, with all their highs and lows, I have tried to remained focused and prioritize the practical issues.  I have shown willingness and dedication toward several job offers, both in my area and others, having worked as a cleaner, babysitter, doing shifts in shopping malls… but the truth remains that the simple thought of going back to the creative frenzy of a publicity agency or marketing department takes my breath away and entices some detachment in me.  I know now that what I want to do is to work for a cause bigger than me or my own personal career interests.  

Budget and due dates

In my first mission in Idomeni, in northern Greece, along with two Portuguese friends and voluntary workers, we managed to accumulate about 3.000€, to which subsequent donations added a similar amount during the course of the three months we spent on the field. As such, 6.000€ total, of which 1.500€ were spent to support our housing and feeding costs and 4.500€ to bring food, clothes, shoes, hygiene products and medicines to those in need of them.

This big sum was in itself still pretty scarce for the duration of the three months, but of utmost importance and absolutely indispensable, to us and the 15.000 people we tried to help.

Now is the time to go back, once again with just barely enough to cover travel costs, a place to sleep and something to eat. I will be travelling alone and that will, almost certainly, make it more difficult. I need help not to finance a tourist excursion, but to be able to face essential living costs and, most of all, diminish the needs that I may meet on the several camps along the way. 

Note: the PPL charges me 5% of the raised amount, only if I am able to raise the totality of the amount. To the value of the foreseeable commission, one must also add the IVA (23%). For example: For a 1.000€ contribution, the commission would be of 50 EUR plus IVA, which would be 61,50 Eur. 

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Thu, 09/12/2021 - 04:40

Mon, 08/05/2017 - 16:19

This is my last week with the

This is my last week with the Mobile Info Team for refugees in Greece - الفريق المتنقل لمعلومات اللاجئين ... Hey: let there be no room for any doubt whatsoever! This change is o...

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Sat, 15/04/2017 - 22:52

January to April - What about it?

Beloved all, I am sorry for the lack of constant update during the last 3 months of work (hard work!), but have been mostly underwater struggling to give the extra mile ever...

Read more

Mon, 09/01/2017 - 12:05

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  • Ângela Marques

    This is my last week with the

    This is my last week with the Mobile Info Team for refugees in Greece - الفريق المتنقل لمعلومات اللاجئين ... Hey: let there be no room for any doubt whatsoever! This change is only due to my own will to embrace other field initiatives as I’d planned in the first place, but in truth I’m leaving with my heart bursting, having gained a family I love (just you try to share the whole 24 hours of your days with 12 people, for 4 months, living in the same space, and you will find out that life lasting marriage is child’s play in what concerns relationship intensity), and a project which is absolutely essential in the daily struggle to humanize this limbo.
    I’m carrying a lot in my luggage. A whole lot more than 4 months learning and practicing on the legal means framing the destiny of these thousands of people fighting for the right to regain existence. I’m also carrying the experience of stumbling on mattresses and suitcases inside a room for two where four of us slept (we were actually five around middle February), of the 1001 ways to cook aubergine and courgette making magic on a short budget (I swear there are days when I feel sort of green, sort of purple … and perfectly capable of gnu hunting!), of being involved in road accidents (I believe it’s karmic…), of the ecstasy on the weekly bathroom cleaning day (only one who has lived in bunker mode can understand this happiness level), of the emotional bursts that we luckily have in turns (this explains how we keep alive!) – the smiles, the tears, the words, the silences: I carry the experience of sharing.
    Damn! I’m broke and the fact steals my sleep, however I am wealthier by the day, inside, in the person I am growing into. And there’s magic in understanding what these statements actually mean outside pretty announcements, all nice and cute on an E-card. It is also about being broke that I want to tell you about.
    Asking for help, for money, does not come easy to anyone (or at least that’s the way I see it), and it is not easy at all for me – I had holiday jobs at 13 (yes – 13), I worked partime jobs while at school from the age of 16, I worked fulltime while studying since I was 19, to pay for my university graduation, I worked in my study area from the age of 23, as soon as I left university. I’ve been doing volunteer work in various areas for the last seven years; started back home and moved abroad since 2015. No, I am definitely not a “poor thing”, and no, I am not a saint, just like I’m not some parasite used to living at other people’s expense! I am also not rich, neither have a wealthy family backing me up, which fits 99% of the people I cross paths with along this journey. If the world were to depend only on those befitting these two premises to jump to the front line … well … we’d all be thoroughly fucked! (No, can’t think of a better word to express it).
    “Here she comes again with yet another pretty post asking for money so that the hippies can go on vacation!” – it is not out of arrogance that I’ve just stopped replying to this kind of comment, and yet may be it is as I feel that if someone really believes this … well … it is my character that is under judgment on that statement of opinion, and in that connection we haven’t much in common, have we? The hippies, the anarchists, the left-wingers, the jerks, the stateless, the pimps … we’ve been called by all those names and more and asking for help doesn’t come any easier with time, on the contrary, and while in the past I was managing my work budget for my spending, nowadays I am accounting on how much time my given budget will buy me to continue to work, and the anguish lies on the thought of having to stop. In this moment I have a few ideas to discuss in the course of next week, and only after that I can give you an update on my whereabouts, doing what and with whom. At present the only possible forecast is to stay in field until July, as no matter how strongly I came to believe in miracles I still don’t grasp them as a sure thing.
    I will not leave this team without first asking you to help them if you can, one more time. This project is very near financial red line as it is not as easy to get big sponsors’ attention when the task results are not as measurable as clothing, feeding, sheltering – at Mobile Info Team we cannot state that we have handed 2000 blankets or 10000 bananas under your patronage, but we can truly say that we have given support to over 550 currently active cases which represent more than 1120 individuals who count on this team to give them answers and aid in the intricate legal processes where they’ve been living in for more than a year. They are not numbers, they are people and each case is managed on a 24 hour availability and the commitment of holding on to it until the moment we hear “I am asylum granted!” or “I am flying next week!”.
    I would love to put in words what an emotional roller coaster this is but I just can’t. Nevertheless I still beg you to ask, to speak, to share, to help if possible and with what you can. I leave you information of my personal data and that of the project’s, I ask that if you donate to my account you please do so naming the contact and the destination of your donation – if it is personal, or if it is to the Mobile Info Team, or even if you’d like it to be addressed to another specific use with another team.

    • Ângela Marques
    IBAN: PT50 0033 0000 4532 3111 4850 5
    Millenium BCP
    • Stichting Mushkila Kabira
    IBAN: NL76 INGB 0007 3490 21

    (Read more about MIT work in the link, through the eyes of our beloved Rambling Ruth: )

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  • Ângela Marques

    January to April - What about it?

    Beloved all,

    I am sorry for the lack of constant update during the last 3 months of work (hard work!), but have been mostly underwater struggling to give the extra mile every single day!

    As some of you must know, from my Facebook posts, I am now at home, back in Portugal, for 3 weeks, being spoiled by family and close friends - broke and exhausted, but super happy and quite secure of the choices that brought me so far. I will be back in Greece on the 27th and stay for 3 more months, for now, as the budget can't buy me more time, but have faith I will, somehow, manage to go back, again, before the fall until the end of the year - never, ever, stop believing, right?

    I have no paper work on the expenses, sorry, am not an organized NGO myself, as you know, but would like to let you a quick summary of how half of your donations were spent, so far:

    Total donations: 2100€
    Total spent from January to April - 1200€
    Total that I donate to emergency winter response from other projects:
    Serbia (230€), Chios (90€), Lesbos (110€), Athens (100€) and Thessaloniki and North (120€) : 650€
    Total personal expenses - Food, travel expenses, internet and phone communications, hygiene, medicines: 550€ - monthly average: 185€

    Now, about what I have been doing, as you may be wondering... despite being in contact with people all over Greece, Jordan and Serbia, I ended up staying based in Thessaloniki, working with the Mobile Info Team – please check our Facebook page as we are still working on the website, despite being a project as old as old Idomeni camp :)
    ( - For now I intend to stay with this project as long as possible, but I won’t compromise with a “forever” (whatever that means on the ground, since we never know how next month will be like), as I do want to grow further and pursuit more, let’s see where the road and the need take me.

    With Mobile Info Team I am working in providing asylum seekers information concerning the legal options of the asylum, relocation or family reunification process and pursue up-to-date information about individual cases that feel the need to ask for help to keep the track on what is happening during the long wait. By informing the people and helping them to understand where to go for what information or support (bridging with services or lawyers anytime the need shows) we aim to empower them towards the uncertain that their life become since they left their homes and most of all since the borders closed last year and left them trapped in Greece, in a slow wait for a future on hold.

    My week has 7 working days and one day off – Monday to Saturday. We start daily with a morning meeting, at 9h30, where we update about the last day camp/accommodation visit, expose relevant points, doubts, news and do the planning of the day, at 10h everyone is up to it’s on case working or other tasks that may be assigned. Lunch happens in front of the desk, or running to the next info session, dinner has no time set, most of the nights some of us are still working after 10h PM. Seems boring to you? Well, we have no time to feel bored here, this is about people’s lives after all.

    I have cried of frustration facing cases that looked like dead ends, with families being teared apart by the system, I have laugh between cheers facing friends getting their asylum granted in Greece, I have shared the anxiety of waiting for a flight after a relocation or family reunification positive decision arrives. This is not a work of daily victories, we don’t get a lot of good days, we barely have good news to give, but in the end of the day we go to bed knowing human dignity is also made of this. People need to eat, people need shelter, people need clothes: yes, they most certainly do! But as we provide them their basic needs we shall not forget that what makes us who we are is our capacity to know our options, to know our way forward, to understand both – this is what we try to provide with our work, this is why I joined this project, and I couldn’t be doing it without your help.

    Thank you!

    Please don’t hesitated to send me any question you may have, any comment, any suggestion, anything you feel the need to.
    Please keep supporting my work helping me to stay on the ground as long as possible: consider donating, if you can. Tell a friend that you think would help, if you can. Give me heads up of new possibilities, if you can.

    My gratitude is beyond words, I hope you know that.


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