Our Stroudies on the ground in Lesvos: part 4

The latest post from our Stroudies in Lesvos – this is the reality of the situation for those fleeing for their lives…

“Update on how your money is being spent…Last night there were many boats arriving from Turkey. We shuttled just under 200 people who arrived at Skala Sikaminias, up the side of the mountain, to the station where they were able get warm and dry before boarding the buses that take them to the camps at Moria, Kara Tepe and Pipka. This is otherwise a hellish walk after the unspeakable horror of the boat journey. Many had injuries from being crammed cheek by jowl into the ‘death boats’. There were many children and babies and there were many tears and hugs and alhamdullilahs. We took 16-20 people at a time… on our fifth or sixth run (I lost count there were so many) we took an Iraqi family of 18 Yezidis, a minority group who are being ethnically cleansed by ISIL in Northern Iraq. They have their own distinct religion which combines aspects of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mithraism, Mandaeans and Zoroastrianism. The courageous man who was the head of this family told us their story in perfect English, fighting back the tears he explained how his father had given his life savings and his home to save their lives and send them on this hellish journey. His father was too old and frail to make the journey and they were forced to leave him behind. I didn’t have the heart to explain that their nightmare was only just beginning. We slept at the port and took two more families to Mytilini this morning. They were soaking wet, straight of the boat. They had missed the aid station and were walking 65 km with tiny children. A woman sat next to me with her son in her lap crying silently and holding tightly in to my hand. Shukran, shukran, shukran, alhamdullilah…. These people have been abandoned. Please keep on giving brothers and sisters. One love xxxxx”