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.