A Guardian Holiday To Greece

My blogging friend Scottish Girl, is in the truest sense, a humanitarian. For three years she has been giving of herself, dedicating her life to helping refugees in Greece. She doesn’t post often, but when she does, I always try to share her writing, for it shows us a side of life that most of us are only vaguely aware of. Today she writes of a truly appalling situation, one that I think will cause your jaw to drop. Please take a minute to read her touching post, and send her well-wishes on her upcoming wedding! Thank you, Scottish Girl, for your hard work, dedication to a most worthy humanitarian cause, and your poignant words.

From Greece With Love

I was just sent a link to The Guardian newspapers’ latest holiday offer, 7 nights, £2500pp, on a special safari tour of poverty porn on the islands and mainland of modern Greece. Sun, sea, a spot of refugee spotting and searching out local families whose lives were destroyed by the financial crisis. How quaint.

 https://holidays.theguardian.com/holidays/greece-and-the-euro-39a156d19967f52863d763098db88d16

The tour begins in the Aegean isle of Samos, famous for it’s wine, it’s breathtaking landscape, and shipwrecks. The lucky holiday maker can start their tour enjoying the vineyards of this sunny isle before heading down to the town to take a few holiday snaps of the horrific conditions the asylum seekers on the island find themselves trapped in. Don’t worry though I don’t imagine you would have to hang around in the dirt with them for too long, not like those who have been held in hotspots or in tents outside of hotspots, for…

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Yet another Greek tragedy…

Once again, I share a post by “From Greece with Love”, the Scottish girl living on the isle of Kos in Greece, and dedicating her life to helping refugees arriving on the island. Her post today brings tears, and reminds us that while we are sitting in our warm cozy homes, sipping our tea or coffee, people are fighting for their very lives. And it also reminds us, I think, of that old adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Please take a moment to read this first-hand story of the most recent tragedy … and to remember those who died while simply trying to stay alive. Thank you, Scottish Girl, for sharing this part of your life with us … stay strong and thank you for doing what you do.

From Greece With Love

It has been over two years now since I first came to Greece. Before I jumped on that flight on Sept 29th 2015, with no idea how that decision would utterly change the direction of my life, I had been following the unfolding crisis in Greece for many months.

I don’t know what I expected to happen over all this time, but I had hoped that history wouldn’t continually repeat itself over and over again with no lessons being learnt and no real change.

Yesterday morning I woke up to news of another shipwreck in the region of Greece I now call home. I saw the messages of friends in my new home, the anger of yet another tragedy upon our doorstep. I saw the frantic grief of the volunteers on the island of Kalymnos who have dealt with too much death upon their shores already. I saw the…

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Grounded

Those of you who have followed Filosofa’s Word for more than a year may remember a series of posts that I re-blogged by justascottishgirl, a young woman from Scotland who, in late 2015 to mid-2016 took time from her own life to volunteer helping refugees on the Greek Isle of Kos. Her tales were often heartbreaking, but I was so impressed with what she and others were doing – giving of themselves for the cause of humanity – that I shared her story a few times in March 2016. She eventually returned to Scotland, but has now moved to the Greek Isle of Kos. She has started a new blog, titled From Greece With Love, and shares her very astute thoughts on not just the refugee crisis, but the terrible inhumane incidents taking place around the globe. I am sharing, with her permission, the first post on her new blog where she starts with a question: How does one stay grounded with all the terrible things happening around the world? She concludes with: “Stand together, show love where you find hate and don’t let fear win.” Just A Scottish Girl is an excellent writer, thinker, and humanitarian extraordinaire, and this post is well worth the read. Please take a few moments to read her words, for they reflect what most of us are thinking in these troubled times. Thank you, Scottish Girl, for all you do, for your beautiful heart, and for permission to share your thoughts and words.

From Greece With Love

All through life when times get tough, when things start to run away with us or when things start to get too much we often hear the advice “stay grounded.” We are told to “keep our feet on the ground” to balance us, to remind of something solid, something steady that can help bring us down from those dizzying heights that challenging times can take us to. But what happens when that safety net fails, when you can no longer trust the earth to keep you steady?

Recently I experienced a rather nasty earthquake which has left this question playing on my mind. When we live in a world of such uncertainty, how exactly do we stay grounded when we can’t even trust the ground we walk on?

But this idea of losing trust in your surroundings goes further than a shift in tectonic plates, for me personally anyway. Over…

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Alan Kurdi, One Year On.

There are good people out there. Sometimes it takes a crisis, a human tragedy, to bring them into the spotlight, but it encourages us and gives us hope for the future when we see these people and what they are doing. I have previously re-blogged posts of fellow-blogger justascottishgirl who went to the Isle of Kos to volunteer for a bit, and is still there today. It was a year ago today that the tiny, lifeless body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed ashore and the world woke up to the reality of the refugee crisis in Europe. People from all walks of life came to help … and stayed. Tina Brocklebank, a 46-year-old student from Yorkshire, spent a week constructing tents in the Calais refugee camp with the charity L’Auberge des Migrants, now part of the umbrella organization Help Refugees, last October. Almost a year later she is still there. Paul Hutchings, 48, from Brighton, volunteered in Calais last September. Devastated by what he saw, he quit his job as a market researcher this year to set up Refugee Support Europe, a charity based in Greece. Today, I am re-blogging our Scottish girl’s post commemorating the event that brought out the good in so many people. It is a short post, and I hope that you will all take a minute to read it and to leave a comment for our Scottish girl, to thank her for her efforts and offer your encouragement.

fromscotlandwithloveblog

It’s a year ago today since a picture woke up the world. A picture that made everyone stop and look. A picture that made those “swarms” we were warned of into something that had been left out of the narrative, a picture that reminded us that a refugee crisis was a human crisis.

People stopped. People thought. People cried. People organised. People acted.

A picture of a tiny lifeless body, not the first and most definitely not the last. A picture that we could put a name to, put a story to, that we could relate to. What if that was our child, our brother, our cousin, our friend? This child was a life, not a statistic.

This picture created an outcry. Everyone knew this could not continue. This had to stop.

There was a movement, an incredible social movement from the town halls of sleepy Scottish towns, to the…

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They Say A Picture Can Paint A Thousand Words…

Here is another post from the heroic young lady who is still, despite enormous strife and heartbreaking conditions, doing what she can to help refugees on the Greek Isle of Kos.  Please take a minute to read.

fromscotlandwithloveblog

They say a picture paints a thousands words… Unfortunately I cannot take a picture of one of the worst examples of inhumanity I have witnessed so far in life so here is a thousand words to try and a paint a picture…

As you enter the police station of Kos, be sure your greeting will not be welcoming. You may even be lucky enough to bump into someone from Frontex, dressed like something from a sci fi film in tight black ops style uniform. You won’t get a smile but you will sure be intimidated by the weapons they are toting on their hip. The police station itself from outside looks like quite a grand old historical building but within it is run down with a feeling of a sleepy, small town local authority which in normal circumstances wouldn’t have huge amounts of crime to deal with.

As you walk…

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