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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 themChildren 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.

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This Syrian child and his mother await to be allowed to board the ferry to Athens in the port of Mitilini, Lesvos. According to statistics, more than 75% of Syrian refuges are women and children.

Just off the boat, this boy is stripped off his wet clothes and given dry ones and a new diaper by a volunteer.

Children are the most vulnerable of travellers. There are no statistics about child mortality among refugees as they travel to Europe. The two above are among the lucky ones who made it safely to Europe. Others are not so lucky. When boats capsize, they are the first to die. The coast of eastern Lesvos is littered with thousands and thousands of discarded life vests. If those of adults are fake and stuffed with sponge-like material, those worn by kids are pathetic pieces of cheap plastic, originally intended as toys. Many carry infact warnings in English, such as "doesn't prevent drowning" and "not for boating".