THIS WINTER FOR OUR ORGANISATION IT REMAINED EVIDENT THAT WE WOULD ONCE MORE PROVIDE TRIPS AND ACTIVITIES TO THE DISPLACED COMMUNITY OF SINDOS, WHO WE HAD WORKED WITH THE PREVIOUS SUMMER. AGAIN THE IDEA WAS SIMPLE; HIRE A VAN AND TAKE THE FAMILIES TO EXCITING AND BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN ORDER TO ENJOY A COUPLE OF HOURS ESCAPE FROM WORRIES AND BOREDOM.
We established locations such as museums, the zoo and local Christmas fairs. From our experience of the summer we were luckily able to quickly fill up our schedule. Often families would know us from summer and were keen and excited to join again.
So off we went with our van full of people from all sorts of background. We had individuals from over 15 nations and three different continents throughout the project! This may give you an insight into the phenomena of migration. People leave their homes for a variety of reasons: each one with their own history and fate. It sadly highlights the unrest and insecurity of the world we live in. The opportunity to bring happiness, even for one day, is incredible and a great joy to facilitate.
Incredibly blessed by the weather here in Thessaloniki we were almost exclusively met by sunshine. With only two damp days we escaped the cold and rain by visiting museums and the cinema. On a beautiful blue day, we went to the zoo. Although limited in the variety of animals at offer, the people evidently enjoyed themselves, expressed through endless selfies and group pictures. At a little pavilion we had a picnic and got to know each other better, while the kids explored the zoo hoping to find secret lions or tigers and not just the blind, old pelican!
Next stop was the Christmas fare where every person could go on one ride or play at a machine. Often the parents would pass and give their ride to the kids who spent the day on rollercoasters and bumper cars. The kids were incredibly excited and completely absorbed by all the lights, fanfares and balloons, allowing the parents to roam the Christmas market and enjoy time for themselves. We ran around with all the excited kids, fooling around on roller coasters and competing in fierce games of air hockey. After an exhausting but exhilarating day we packed up and drove back to Sindos.
We are convinced that projects like these are critical and essential for the well-being of these people. Whilst emergency aid remains crucial, we cannot forget that creating joy, laughter and good memories is at the heart of our work and should be the right of every human being.
We are so grateful to all our supporters who have made this project possible. We rely so much on your continued and generous support of displaced people in Europe, which allows us to continue operating and delivering these programmes.