May 15, 2017
It is estimated that currently there are 60,000 refugees in Greece. They continue to rely on cash assistance to cover their basic needs. CARE's Vangi Dora recently met with refugees living in Athens who continue to hope for a better future. She asked them to share their stories.
Amir, 40, from Iran: “I want to be creative and useful for both society and myself.”
“In Iran, I used to be an IT manager but here I can’t find a job. I keep sending CVs but it is impossible. There are many refugees and asylum seekers looking for jobs and very few job openings are available for us. I want to be able to work legally in Greece, and I want to be creative and useful for both society and myself. Now I have nothing to do. I stay home all day and sleep. I am waiting for my reunification application to be processed so that I can see my wife and daughter in Germany. I am going crazy”.
Soqrah, 25, from Afghanistan: “We fled to Europe to live in safety and with dignity, but here we are suffering again.”
“As an Afghan refugee in Iran, I was suffering. I had no rights, I could not study or work and, together with my husband, we were constantly afraid of deportation. We fled to Europe to live in safety and with dignity, but here we are suffering again. We cannot work because we don’t speak Greek. However, many Greek people also do not know the process for hiring an asylum seeker or a recently recognized refugee. My two year-old baby and I spend our day in the house. I don’t know where to take him, so I stay with him all day long. My husband goes to the park. It is hard for us to stay in a house all day. At least with the debit cash card from CARE we can cover the rent of the house.”
Jawad, 35, from Iran: “I used to work in a hospital in Iran.”
“I used to work in a hospital in Iran. We left because human rights were not respected there and we reached Greece through Turkey. We applied for asylum in Greece and until recently we were living in a camp. But we were the only Iranian family among Afghanis, it was very difficult for us in the camp. Now with the cash assistance we received from CARE, we are renting an apartment and we are very happy we can do that! You have no idea how dirty and bad it was in the camp. Right now I am looking for a job but I still have not found anything. Three days a week we attend Greek language lessons and the other three days we go to the Iranian church. On Sundays we rest.”
For most refugees, waiting in limbo continues. However, their dreams for the future and their current efforts to improve their lives and find their way back to their families is strong.
With the influx of refugees to Europe, CARE has been providing emergency assistance to refugees stranded in Greece, including cash, protection and accommodation. Learn more about our work with refugees and what you can do.