On the occasion of recent reports on “the reception of 100 refugees and migrants in a hotel in Kamena Vourla”, METAdrasi would like to declare the following:
On noon Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 39 unaccompanied children were transferred by METAdrasi’s escorting team to a hotel in Kamena Vourla, rented by the International Migration Organization (IOM). The procedures for their transportation were rapidly initiated so that the children could travel to other European Union countries.
In the absence of information from the competent authorities, we would like to clarify that these are minors who have lost or been separated from their parents and lived in camps on the islands for many months under particularly adverse conditions.
In the context of respect of all protection measures against the pandemic, the unaccompanied minors were transported in two coaches. All children have undergone a COVID-19 test by the Hellenic National Public Health Organization (EODY) and all the results have come back negative.
Their stay at the hotel in Kamena Vourla is temporary, since all minors participate in the relocation programme to other European countries that have offered to help, in the context of solidarity. How can we demand solidarity and responsibility sharing from other countries, when we ourselves do not support our fellow citizens on the islands?
METAdrasi has undertaken the care of most of these children on the islands and will continue to take care of them at this hotel until they are transferred to other European countries.
The temporary hospitality of the unaccompanied minors cannot in any way “affect the safety and quality of life of the residents” and we hope that both the Municipality and local community will rise up to the occasion by showing their solidarity to these children, who have lost or been separated from their parents. Right now, all the children are scared of these reactions and do not understand why they are treated this way by a small part of the local community. Most of the minors come from war zones and have lived particularly traumatic experiences. Some have learned Greek in the islands’ camps, out of love for our language and our culture.
We call on the local community to show the humanity and hospitality that characterizes Greece so that these children, in the short period of their stay, feel safe and loved and keep their warm hospitality in Kamena Vourla as the last image from our country.