In 2015, more than 800,000 immigrants entered Greece illegally through Turkey. They came from the Middle East and Africa. These days it has become common for thousands of volunteers to travel to Lesbos, Greece to meet these refugees and offer assistance. They help them land safely, treat any illnesses, and then help them to continue their journey to Germany or other countries.
Even in the bad weather, the tiny rubber dinghies keep coming. Obviously there are people who are making money from each trip and they care very little about placing the lives of these desperate people in danger.
The volunteers meet the dinghies and make sure the children get off first. There have been cases in which the people are so desperate to get on dry land, that they trample on the children and asphyxiate them.
Each rubber dinghy is designed to carry only ten people. But the smugglers transport 30 or more at a time. Many have lost their belongings and money in the ocean and thousands have lost their lives while traveling like this from Turkey to Greece. Turkish fishermen have even lost interest in fishing because they’re tired of picking up dead little children in their nets.
One Norwegian volunteer explains that his country is participating in the war and destroying the homes of this very people. He feels that volunteering like this is the least that he can do for them.
There are two refugee camps on the island of Lesbos: one for Syrian refugees and one for all the others. Syrians are treated differently because they are fleeing a situation of war. This used to cause conflict and so the camps were separated.
Then the volunteers that work with Clowns Without Borders show up at the camps to help lighten the mood. Most of the children have never seen clowns in their lives so at first they have no idea how they should react. The clowns are good at helping everybody relax, though, and within minutes young and old are enjoying the show.
As the CWB volunteers arrive at the Mytilini Port in Lesbos, they are met by desperate women that are begging for money to buy food because they lost it all at sea or paid it all to the smugglers. It’s heart breaking to have to turn them away because they’re only there to do a show. The port is crowded with refugees that are trying to get on the ferry to Athens. From Athens they can travel to other EU countries. Some of them camp out at the port for days, trying to get a spot.
The refugees are going through hell for no good reason. Why do they have to live like this when they could be in own their countries enjoying the comforts of their homes?