Appeals

Letters from a crisis: local help and a premature baby

mother and young child

How do you begin to organise a refugee camp?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her impressions of life on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis.         

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Syria – where do we go from here?

Devastation in Homs

Syria today is a source of both hope and frustration.

Over the weekend, one hundred trucks carrying food and medical supplies reached the besieged town of Al Rastan for the first time since 2012.

Yet still people are forced to flee their homes. One day earlier, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) evacuated more than 500 people from Madaya, Zabadani, Foua and Kefraya.

There’s a perception among some in the outside world that the situation in Syria is getting better now. It’s not.

Even in areas that have experienced a respite from the constant thud of mortars, the eerie silence that remains reveals another problem. How will people ever come back and pick up the pieces?

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Letters from a crisis: ‘how can this be happening in the EU?’

grandmother and child
Ever wondered what it’s really like to work in an emergency?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her reflections on supporting refugees in Greece.

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Landmines and gunshot wounds: A London nurse in South Sudan

South SudanSwapping South Sudan for south London, Claudia Dias is starting to readjust to life back in the UK.

Gunshot wounds, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, dehydration and landmine injuries. Hardly the everyday ailments found on her NHS ward.

For the last six months, the 29-year-old Portuguese nurse has been working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in South Sudan where her nursing skills have been put to the test.

“The work is completely different, you have to learn quickly and adapt while working with very basic equipment,” said Claudia.

“It is hard to see children and women with gunshot wounds. They are not involved in the fighting. They are just caught in the middle.”

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Letters from a crisis: wind, rain and wheelie bin rides

Have you ever ridden a wheelie-bin in a roaring gale?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her reflections on supporting refugees in Greece.

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Prank call or refugees trapped in a sinking boat?

Migrants rescued by a Coast Guard shipDawn in Rome. Sixty-six-year-old Gianni Brusadelli is woken suddenly by the shrill sound of his phone. He answers, bleary-eyed, to a man shouting in a mix of French and English.

Brusadelli hangs up, suspecting a prank. But according to The Times, the calls continue.  As the sounds of an engine and waves hit Brusadelli’s ear, he realises he is speaking to a boat full of migrants, stranded at sea.

They are trying to reach the coast guard – but they’ve been given the wrong number. More

Radio Lesvos: the show helping refugees in Greece

Elderly man is helped to disembark a dinghy. The Greek island of Lesbos is one of the main entering point to Europe for refugees. Larger vessels, rubber boats and dinghys from Turkey cross around 5 miles of Mediterranian Sea to arrive in Lesbos.

Most of us are familiar with the disorientation you feel arriving in a foreign country. Maybe it’s the language, or that blast of heat (or cold) as you get off the plane. But it can take a little while to find your feet on foreign soil.

Those refugees arriving in dinghies on the Greek island of Lesvos are no different. Many speak no Greek, and have only what possessions they can carry.

They may have been separated or even lost loved ones on their journey. Many have fled violence and conflict.

But a Red Cross radio show is helping many refugees when they arrive in Greece.

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Meet the children of Idomeni

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We all remember the thrill of jumping into a good puddle. Yet for the children living in Idomeni camp, a week of heavy rain means puddles have long ceased to hold much wonder.

Despite their sodden blankets and shoes, the children remain filled with hope of a better life. They hope that the border will open soon so they can continue northward to be reunited with their loved ones.

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