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Refugee children in Greece attempting suicide



  • September 17, 2018
April Stumme

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When refugees flooded into Greece in 2015 and 2016, it was as if the entire population of Delaware moved into this struggling coastal nation. The country was already struggling economically and wasn’t equipped to handle the influx of people.

Refugees in Greek camps are facing some of the worst living conditions in the world.

But the most disturbing news coming out of Greece is that refugee children — as young as 10 — are so desperate for their suffering to end, they are attempting suicide.  

These refugees need your help. Your gift of $35 will help make sure one refugee has what he needs to survive this crisis. And thanks to generous corporate donations and grants, that $35 will multiply to provide $189 worth of food, medical aid, and more.

Greece may be far from the wars the refugees are fleeing, but violence in the refugee camps is a real threat.

In one camp, conditions are so bad that refugees live in constant fear. Deadly fights occur frequently. The sanitary conditions are horrendous — only one toilet for every 70 refugees. And overcrowding keeps tensions high. Built to hold just 2,000 refugees, the camp is now home to more than 8,000.

For many, Greece is the end of their journey. But it’s not always a happy ending.

Sayid is a refugee in Greece. His parents tragically died in the bombing of Aleppo, and he fled without them. When he arrived in Greece his problems continued. Three of his teeth began to cause him severe pain. Sayid needed to see a dentist, but refugees often don’t have any way to afford medical care. Without financial help, Sayid can’t get the help he needs to fix his teeth. He’s stuck in a filthy camp, trying to keep his teeth from becoming more infected.

People who end up in Greece usually travel there by boat. These refugees, mostly women and children, take a great risk when they decide to make the crossing for a better life. One in every 18 people is lost at sea during the journey.

It’s easy to see why some of Greece’s refugees have lost hope.

When Roland, whose name we’ve changed for his safety, arrived in Greece, he felt hopeless. Roland had lost his home, his job, and many of the people he knew. He thought he might get some of those things back eventually. But he wasn’t counting on finding hope again until he met one of World Help’s partners in the Greek camp.

Our partner gave him shelter, food, support, and a job as a translator. While Roland worked, he also learned about Jesus. Months later he decided to give his life to God and was baptized. Roland has more than a job and food now; he has hope despite his circumstances. And he’s so grateful for the people who loved him, cared for him, and taught him about the Gospel. 

But there are many more people like Roland who are still waiting for help and hope to arrive. Refugees living in Greece’s refugee camps need basic supplies. They need blankets and warm clothing to help them survive the upcoming harsh winter. They need food and medical care to keep their bodies strong and healthy. And they need necessities like formula and diapers to care for their children.

Greece is in the midst of an economic crisis. The country has struggled to care for its own people, not to mention the refugees that continue to arrive. As the refugee crisis slowly disappears from the news, their situation becomes even direr.

When Valentina, whose name we’ve changed for her safety, arrived in Greece, she was relieved. All six of her children and her husband had survived the trip. Valentina had made the whole journey while pregnant and with two sick children. She was exhausted.  

When she settled her children and husband into the camp, she hoped someone would give her what she needed to keep her family and her unborn baby healthy. Now, she worries the help will run out before her family is able to return home. After working so hard to keep her family together, Valentina can’t imagine losing one of her children or her husband to hunger or illness.

Valentina, Roland, and Sayid are just a few examples of refugees who have fought hard to survive. But they’re also pictures of how your gift can make an incredible difference in desperate times.

Refugees in Greece and around the world need your help. When you provide the food, water, medical care, and other critical aid they need — for just $35 — you help save a life and introduce someone to the hope of the Gospel.

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Give today, and be part of bringing help and hope to refugees in Greece and around the world.

You can also learn more about the global refugee crisis.

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