Refugee Camp – Lesvos, Greece
FOR REFUGEES pushed into Europe by the Syrian civil war, the refugee camp in Lesvos is often the first stop. Here they are interviewed to determine whether they will be allowed into a European country or sent home. Because of the extreme danger that many refugees still face, there is no photography allowed in the camp as photos have been used to identify and hunt refugees down. This guitar photo was taken from the roadside on the outskirts of the camp before it was delivered.
We got this report from the field: “At this point the system is overwhelmed and some of the refugees are having to stay in this camp for over a year. …In general there is much depression and hopelessness in the lives of the refugees in the Lesvos camp. They are burdened by the trauma they have experienced and the uncertainty of their future. Amidst this though the people look for ways to find joy and hope. …Some of the biggest problems in the camp are emotional difficulties that arise out of depression and hopelessness. Some of the volunteers at the camp have begun artistic initiatives to help the refugees work through their emotions, and be able to be involved in life-giving activities. Recently a group of Dutch volunteers working with Euro Relief has planned to begin some music events with the refugees… …They are in need of more instruments for the refugees to utilize. Many of the refugees in the community will be able to share use of the [Instruments of Joy] guitar! It will help refugees be able to participate in music events that are being planned for the camp where refugees will be able to perform concerts for the camp.”
The First Guitar for Refugees
At IOJ, our heart goes out to the refugees in distress and we are excited to be able to provide relief and healing through a quality instrument. The guitar in Lesvos is the second instrument we’ve delivered this year with the first being the one shown the the leftwhich was delivered earlier this year to a group of refugees in Athens. Many refugees young and old, male and female play and practice this guitar in the abandoned building they live in called a squat. The refugees expressed that they couldn’t believe that someone would think to give them something so joyful as a musical instrument during one of their hardest times of suffering. We feel lucky to have received this photo at all as photos are typically forbidden because of the danger refugees are still in – especially the ones who are Christians. You’ll notice how the refugee looks away from the camera to avoid recognition.
We Can Do So Much More
Together, we can provide many more instruments to refugees and bring them joy during a dark time. The capacity is there but we need more instruments. A small gift can from you can be used in a huge way in the Lesvos camp in Greece. Provide a darbuka for $80 or a guitar for $300 today and we’ll send you a photo of the recipient of your gift. The darbuka is a drum native to the middle eastern culture and an appropriate and useful instrument for refugees in the camp. It is a custom in the camp to take turns leading out in singing accompanied by percussive instruments. We would love to be able to send 20 drums this year to the refugee camp in Lesvos.
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