A few hours after landing in Lesvos, at the volunteer-run Pikpa refugee camp near Mitilini’s airport, we met some children who stay there with their families and started playing with them. Children need so little to invent games and be happy: security, the comfort of a family, nutritious food.
Unfortunately, as I quickly learned, aside for a handful of kids in Pikpa the children of Lesvos refugees have none of the basic necessities of life mentioned above. I just learned that yesterday night (October 22) two babies died just outside the Moria camp, dehydrated and starved, while waiting in the 2km line with their exhausted parents and thousands of others who just arrived. Surely at least those deaths can be prevented.
When I was planning my story, I thought I would end my Visual Storytelling Campaign with a message of HOPE. Hope as in the faces of the beautiful couple above, as they wait to board the ferry to Athens from Lesvos.
Today, after what I have seen and read, I know that too many of the refugees’ journeys will end up in tragedy. And those who will survive will likely bear the scars for the rest of their lives.
Mostly, I am left with questions. How is it possible that these people are left to die in Europe? Why is it that there is no organized response. Where is the EU? I (we all) understand that Europe can't take another 2 million immigrants, but letting them drown and starve is surely no solution either.