Wicklow Reporter Day 4 from Kos

Brian and Valerie Cox update on the experience helping refugees

In some ways this was a very frustrating day because the local authority here are simply not doing enough to make the lives of these refugees any easier. There are small pockets of volunteers on the ground but no co-ordination at all. I keep thinking ‘if this was Wicklow’ we’d do a better job!

People arrive exhausted, wet and hurt from those little boats and have to sleep on cardboard on the streets or in the tents provided by Medecin sans Frontiers. When they register at the police station they get Red Cross emergency packs.

What Kos needs badly is for someone to take control and set up a central camp where everyone can be looked after in an organized way!

This morning there were huge queues at the police station, long lines of exhausted refugees waiting to be fingerprinted and registered. The UNHCR was there as well as the Hellenic Red Cross who are doing terrific work.

This morning an extended family arrived from Syria with a small boy who is deaf and blind. They tried to reassure him and hug him in these strange surroundings. We were able to give him dry clothes and a sling for their younger baby. Then we spotted an elderly grandfather wringing out his socks and examining his cut feet, a tub of Sudocrem to the rescue!

The food situation has deteriorated with the, we think, temporary disappearance of an evening foods delivery – rice and veg – from a German aid group. Last night we did a major food run and got great help from three New Zealanders with the distribution.

For tonight we’ve teamed up with Dutch people who have found a warehouse where we can make sambos! So, it’s off to a supermarket to stock up now, thanks to you guys!

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