This blog starts with great news: the “Pame” project has begun successfully! After countless visits to government agencies, discussions with a lawyer, and talking with all the coordinators at the “Help Refugees” warehouse, on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, it is already the second week of the project, and we have welcomed Hazim and Waseem!
Hazim and Waseem are young Syrian men, who met at the Alexandria refugee camp and became friends. Along with other friends from the camp, they received assistance in moving to an apartment in Thessaloniki. Both Hazim and Waseem have been waiting for months for relocation to another European country. Hazim is waiting for reunification with his older brother in Germany, while Waseem has no idea which country will accept him. It is a waiting game.
In the meantime, as participants of the “Pame Project,” Hazim and Waseem are able to join other volunteers from across the world, and work in the Help Refugees warehouse. For Hazim and Waseem it is a chance to escape the monotony and daily routine of waiting. For Hazim and Waseem, it is more than volunteering. In exchange for their hard work, and thanks to your donations to Be A Robin, we are able to pay for some of their everyday expenses – like monthly bus passes, which we are buying today. Each week, I drive with Hazim and Waseem to Alexandria, a refugee camp 40 minutes from Thessaloniki where they used to live, and from where they can collect basic food supplies.
In Thessaloniki’s unpredictable yet routine bus strikes, I help Hazim and Waseem by driving them everywhere; thankfully the busses are back on the roads after two weeks of strikes, so Hazim and Waseem can once again move independently around the city and to the warehouse. The help I provide is always returned – currently Hazim is helping me as an interpreter while I find new participants for the project; English should not be a necessity, the project must be accessible for everyone without language restrictions.