Fugitives from Lesvos who receive state recognition as refugees are brought to the mainland. Elderly people, women with children, families – countless people who were previously in Moria or other refugee camps then live without protection in parks and on the sidewalks of Athens.
Elaha, 86 years old (all names changed), who in the photo is being given makeshift protection from the rain by her daughter-in-law, was already ill in Moria. When they were granted refugee status and allowed to leave Moria, it seemed like good news. Then she was – like hundreds of others – in Athens, homeless and without any claim to help.
Just Human, with the help of refugees who have been living in Athens for a long time, succeeded in finding housing for Elaha, her daughter-in-law and the children, as well as for another woman and her five children. For the rent of the apartments the families still need our support. Many more refugee women and children, families and men still live on the streets in Athens. They need support for food, medicine and accommodation.
The Greek government is granting refugee status to more and more refugees on Lesbos. Apparently, this is intended to prevent further expansion of the camps. Within five days all those who are granted refugee status must leave the camps. They may go wherever they want. But when they leave the camps, they initially lose any claim to support. Only with a new registration address could they apply for support again and also a tax number and the health insurance they need if they want to work.
But first, many of them arrive in Athens destitute. Solmaz, who fled Afghanistan with her children, reports that she spent her money on food in Moria. They lived there for a year. All their savings have been used up. Together with the children, she camped for days in Victoria Park, without supplies, without access to water, toilets, shelter, until Just Human could help them.