Help for refugee families on their first stop in Europe
More than half a million people have fled to Greece this year from Syria and other countries in chaos. For most, it is a first stop on a journey through Europe, where they hope to build a new life far from war. The International Rescue Committee is providing urgently needed relief to the refugees as they arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos, referring the most vulnerable families to Pikpa camp, a temporary shelter where they can receive additional support.
International Rescue Committee aid workers from the field around the world share a moment from their day. From Tanzania to Afghanistan to Greece to Salt Lake City, we see a brief glimpse of the breadth and expanse of the IRC programs.
Thousands of refugees fleeing Syria and other conflict-ridden countries are continuing to risk a dangerous sea journey to the Greek island of Lesbos in small boats, even as cold weather approaches. "I don't think that the people who are crossing by any means are prepared for the winter conditions of northern Europe especially — or for southern Europe for that matter," says Aphrodite Mariolaf, a local volunteer.
13-year-old Zain Younus from Karachi, Pakistan honed his English skills and gained confidence while attending the IRC’s six-week Refugee Youth Summer Academy in New York City. The academy helps newly arrived refugees, asylees and other immigrants prepare for public school and find a footing in their new country.
An IRC medical team visits the home of three boys from Damascus, survivors of Syria’s brutal civil war. Meet Mohamad, 17, Hussain, 13, and Hassan, 10, who suffer from a severe form of muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle disease that limits their mobility.
With Europe facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis on its southern shores, the International Rescue Committee sent an emergency team to the Greek island of Lesbos where 1,000 refugees are arriving daily from countries ravaged by conflict. The IRC's emergency deputy field director, Simon Clarke talks about our response.