It’s been 6 months since my last visit to Athens, luckily i’ve been able to do most of my work from home but there a couple of pressing issues that need me here. Carry the
Future Team 34 has been on the ground for a week now and just returned from Serbia and are in Northern Greece until tomorrow when I hook up with them their last few days.
There have not been many teams on the ground these past couple months but that in no way is an indication that things are slowing down with the organization. With contacts and relationships with on the ground NGO’s, CTF is able to provide baby beds and diapers with our partners from afar.
One on my tasks this week is to find a space to rent for storage- with the economic downturn in Greece it should not be a problem to find a former store front to rent- fingers AND toes crossed! I’ll also be visiting customs about a shipment of 500 baby bags that the CTF Swiss Team made up and have been stuck in Athens customs for a couple of months now. As wonderfully connected we all are on our devices – face to face negotiations are still needed in some cases.
I’m only here on the ground in Athens for 6 full days- sounds crazy short considering my
last couple trips. But looking forward to a productive week! Crisscrossed across the globe to get here- this time LAX-Rome-Athens on Alitalia. The cup on the right had maybe 3 Tbsp of espresso in it and it was STRONG, just what I needed after a 12 hour flight from LAX-Rome.
It’s been 17 months since my 1st trip here- in that time as Western media has it’s lenses and content not focused on refugee issues- be assured that this crisis is anything but over. The islands continue to have boats landing daily. yes….daily. There are thousands of people trapped on the islands in tents and Greek Winters are VERY cold- it snowed on the islands last year.
Weekly camps are being closed and refugees are being sent to live in apartments in Athens and Thessalonikis- while significantly better then a tent or a camp in the middle of no where- still not ideal as there are few job prospects and most people have used their life savings to get to Europe. Such a mess- no end in site.
CTF’s baby beds, diapers and basic baby goods are a lifesaver for families waiting to bring a new baby home.
As always a big shout out to my family and tribe at home that keep everything moving forward while I’m away. I really could not be here if not for so many people stepping up. Eternally grateful.