After the relocations to Luxembourg and Germany, on Monday May 11, thirteen unaccompanied minors left Athens airport to Great Britain on a flight organised by the Greek government in order to finally reunite with members of their family.
Since last week, METAdrasi’s team of escorts, strictly following all protection measures against Coronavirus, organised the escorting missions from various parts of Greece – Leros, Kastoria, Ioannina, Lesvos and elsewhere – to a hotel managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Athens. From this hotel and from other accommodation facilities in Athens, on Monday early morning, we accompanied all the children to the airport and watched them greatly moved as they left for their final destination. “In general the mood was nice. There was a little stress but a lot of joy… Everything went well!”, describes Sofia, a member of METAdrasi’s team of escorts.
Among these children, there was a boy from METAdrasi’s Transit Accommodation Facility in Chios. A very kind child, low-key and an excellent cook, who remained in our Accommodation Facility for 10 months waiting for his family reunification to be approved. And when it was time to fly, we had the measures against the pandemic and he couldn’t leave… But last week, when the Accommodation Facility manager announced that we would take him to Athens to fly to England, the child from his joy hug him so tight trying to lift him up in the air! For this boy and for all the children waiting to be reunited with family members in other European countries, this endless waiting is a particularly traumatic and distressing experience.