Sunday dawned sunny with zero chance of rain and a high of 75. In other words….perfect. Max had arranged with Davade a volunteer from Switzerland to go to the beach and maybe bowling with some of the interpreters. We had a quick breakfast at our hotel and headed grab the car and go to a neighboring village to pick Davade up as he was going to drive the van to pick up the others. Well, i’d left the lights on so the car was dead.
Using the Universal drivers language of a raised hood….we soon had someone who jumped the car. Today we’d planned to also do the shopping for the prison/jail run we are doing on Tuesday (more about that later) but literally every.shop.was.closed. But my favorite bakery was open so in addition to beautiful flowers from Max for Mother’s Day I also got to get an iced coffee- a Greek specialty. Super yummy and very refreshing!!!
After coffee bakery stop we went earlier to pick Davade up. The guys dropped me off in Chios city central and I went to work with a legal NGO called “RefuComm” while they drove to Vial Camp to pick up a couple more interpreters and they ultimately not only got to go to the beach, they also went bowling. It was the interpreters 1st time bowling and they all beat both Max and Davade! There were 5 interpreters along with Max and Davade and Max said a great time was had by all. To get out of the camp and just have a relaxing day hanging out with friends is something that does not happen very often for the interpreters.
RefuComm is a fantastic organization that provides legal help to refugees especially when their asylum application has been rejected. While there are VERY clear EU laws about this process, unfortunately daily refugees are being sent back to war zones. It’s a really big problem- hence the prison run later in the week. The police are usually tipped off when an application is going to be rejected for a 2nd time and what usually happens next is the refugee is picked up and either held in jail for a minimum of month or deported.
Jo Chen is a volunteer I met maybe 2 years ago- she is originally from Macao but has been mostly here in Greece for the past 3 years. In a past life she was a lawyer in the UK for 10 years. Today she works helping sort out deportation cases for RefuComm. The NGO got some funding to make and distribute on mini drives in 8 languages the refugees legal rights. But this fantastic tool needs to be downloaded onto the cards so Jo and I spent 5-1/2 hours downloading on 3 computers these very helpful videos.
Most refugees have Android phones so it is very easy for them to load the drives into their phones. Information is can be the difference between life and death for those whose cases have been turned down.
Yet another area of expertise that happens on a daily bases by volunteers all over the world helping refugees.