Voices of Moria
Since 2016, many refugees are forced to stay in Moria in order to wait for their asylum decisions for months, sometimes for years. With time, people opened shops on the main roads of the camps: You can find people selling vegetables and fruits, milk, rice, bread, snacks, meat, as well as bikes, electronic devices or wood, sheet metal and other materials to build small huts. There are even people offering all kinds of authentic food. You can find bakeries in Moria, or hairdressers and barber shops. The longer refugees are forced to wait in the camp, the more the self-organized infrastructure grows. For instance, people constructed mosques in the camp, as well as churches and other worshipping places.
Omid, a pharmacist from Afghanistan, is part of the Corona Awareness Team. (Within weeks they informed residents of Moria about the new Coronavirus and set up structures to cope with a possible outbreak inside the refugee camp): “The only request all the people here have is that they want to move from here to a good and safe place – to a ‘a little bit European place’. Nothing here is European but we are in Europe. No one wants to stay here but people are forced to stay and they don’t know for how long. The one thing they know is that ‘we are going to be here for a while’. So, they should have the chance to build something for themselves, organize themselves. To be alive, to survive.”
“The people here they make these tents, these structures, these mosques, these shops, these bakeries, all of this they made it by themselves. They created a team to raise awareness and give advice on the Coronvirus. The people here are not waiting for others, for NGOs to come and help. To come and clean their toilets. No, these people are able to build something for themselves, to stand on their own feed if only they get the chance to do and the support for it.” and other worshipping places.
White Helmets of Moria & Statement Raed
Currently, around 16.000 migrants live in Moria and most of them are forced to live in the so-called ‘jungle’ – without proper water supplies, sewerage nor garbage collection. Naturally a lot of refuse piled up inside and outside the camp but a group of people refused to accept this. A few months ago, the ‘White Helmets of Moria’ started cleaning the camp: Around 100 residents of Moria collect waste in zone 10 to 12 and bring it to the garbage dump at least three times per week.
Raed, from Syria, is one of them: “If you ask us why we do this, the answer is that we see it as our duty to protect ourselves and those around us. We do so for our own safety and to preserve the environment. We hope that our Greek brothers respect our work. We are ready to continue our week even outside the camp.”
“Are we waiting how to die? We deserve to be treated as humans and we urge the European Union to help: To evacuate refugees from Moria and accept them in their countries!”
Mare Liberum i. A.