Mother and Daughters All Together Again:
A Family Reunited in Germany
It was unbearably hot and the scorched soil gave off a foul stench where the portable toilets stood next to flimsy camping tents. Rania is a single mother and raised her three daughters on her own. She is an educated woman and was a teacher back in Syria. It was a very degrading experience for her to have to live in a small tent, without walls, a kitchen, her own toilet, and to be always dependent on the help of others. She had a fifteen-year-old daughter in Germany, Ghalia, whom she missed desperately and her eyes began to water whenever she spoke about her. At the time, her hopes of being reunited with Ghalia seemed like a distant dream. This is where Michael, from the Mobile Info Team, first met Rania and her two daughters: in a makeshift refugee camp in Idomeni, Northern Greece.
The procedure for reunifying families is very long and complicated, and Rania had no idea how to go through the process. Michael helped her to apply for an appointment with the German Embassy and advising her about the documents she would need, contacted her daughter’s social worker, as well as the authorities in Germany and Greece, in order to monitor the reunification process and to avoid delays and problems with her application. From the first step until the last, Michael was there to assist her. Finally, with Michael’s help, Rania managed to obtain a visa to Germany for herself and her two daughters in November 2016, and was reunited with Ghalia in Germany. After more than one and a half years separated, without having seen each other, Rania and her daughters were finally able to hug each other. Through the normal procedure, they would have had to stay in Greece until the end of 2017.
This is one of the things that Michael, and all of the volunteers here at Mobile Info Team, work to make possible for the people who request our help: for those separated from their families to be reunited, in the most efficient way we can push for.
In Rania’s own words: “I was trying to make family reunification to my daughter in Germany. I’m a divorced woman and the situation wasn’t easy for me, but the Mobile Info Team helped me and took care of me. Back then we weren’t sure if family reunification was even possible and we were nervous about it, but we did it anyway and now we are in Germany!
“I’m still waiting for my request to go to school, so I can learn German, but the main point is that I’m here now together with my daughters. It was a big deal, and I think back to those times to everyone was waiting in the camps in the rain, cold, and burning sun. I thank the Mobile Info Team from the bottom of my heart and wish I could repay them for all they have done for me! Really! I can’t thank them enough for all their help.”
It is estimated that there are over 62,000 refugees and migrants stranded in Greece. There are serious structural problems with the Greek administration regarding access to a fair and efficient asylum service. Furthermore, access to accurate, reliable, and up to date information is a huge challenge, making informed decisions in many cases extremely difficult. The Mobile Info Team provides up to date and reliable information on asylum procedures and individual case support to refugees with their family reunification and relocation applications.
Mobile Info Team relies on donations to operate. By donating to Mobile Info Team, you support the empowerment of refugees in Greece with regard to their legal situation. You enable them to make informed decisions, reunite with their families, and move forward with their lives.
*Names of clients have been changed to respect their privacy