The long goodbye: Greece closes refugee centres

The long goodbye: Greece closes refugee centres
By Euronews
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The Greek government has decided to shut some refugee camps to move people to houses in Athens and other better facilities


Greece is closing down several temporary refugee centres this weekend.

For most it’s the beginning of a new, better life in Athens.

For aid worker Lisa Campbell, it’s been a tumultuous 18-month adventure. She has been the project manager for “Do Your Part” – an American non-governmental organisation she co-founded that started work in Lesbos in 2015.

“I have learned to love these people that I serve. I’ ve learned, I’ve reinforced the fact that I’ve always known. We are all the same, as human beings and they (refugees) need someone who will be an advocate for them, who will stand up to people and organisations and say, this is not right, this is not how it should be.”

Lisa co-created “Do your Part” to help people in need. Her husband, her four children and six grandchildren live in the United States. Even though she disagrees with the government’s camp closure policy, she’s decided to stay in Greece and open a refugee community center near the capital, to help them intregrate. Her message to Greeks is simple. Don’t be afraid.

“Cut out the bureaucracy, treat them as human beings. They are not just numbers, they are human beings. And yes, I realize it’s a large number, but each one is an individual. Get to know them, find out who they are, stop being so scared of these people and really that’s for all of Europe,” says Campbell.

Our correspondent Apostolos Staikos says “during the past 18 months, volunteers, ngo workers and refugees have become friends. From now on, they will try to keep in touch to remain part of each others lives.”

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