“I have been told that time heals. But I don't think this is so simple for asylum seekers. Instead, they need our support.”
Testimonial from Razan, former MIT translator and co-coordinator
“As the daughter of Palestinian refugees myself, I’ve always felt a natural desire to serve in the humanitarian field. Just over a year ago I left my home in Jordan, my family and my friends, to come here to Athens; to follow my long-haunted dreams. Dreams of exploring and exposing myself to a new culture, language, and lifestyle took courage and determination despite and because of the fact it was my own choice.
While it was never easy for me to adapt, I was always thinking of those people who fled their countries to this same unknown, but with no idea if they would ever be able to return to the sweet familiarity of their own homes. How long would they tackle all of this? Daily life? Homesickness? Fleeing from Trauma? The need for reunion with their beloved ones to share their success, happiness and despair? Would they have someone to help them through? The answer is yes. With Mobile Info Team, much more has become true.
Mobile Info Team, despite being a small group run by volunteers, has made a significant difference. Their work started by sharing information on the asylum process in Greece and Europe, not only through clarifying the procedures but by understanding asylum seeker’s fears, the most important aspect. Their Facebook page posts news and dispels rumors, and their hotline answers questions in Arabic, Farsi, and other languages. They also get questions or requests from volunteers, support groups or humanitarian professionals from all over Europe. Since their work started, they have supported hundreds of cases, of whom many have now started their new lives with their families in Europe.
During summer, I volunteered to translate the hotline questions and the information sessions. It was a shock to discover that after basic food, shelter and medical care, accurate information about the asylum process is the most needed resource for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are facing complex asylum procedures, which they have limited access to. I’m already impatient if I have to wait for a friend who is late for a coffee! Imagine how difficult it must be to wait as an asylum seeker for months or even years for a life changing decision. Summarized in the touching words of an 11-year-old girl who came with her father as translator “life is hard and unfortunately all that we can do is wait.” They are desperately waiting for any news, whether good or bad, and in this difficult time, the Mobile Info Team supports them with information.
I have been told that time heals. But I don't think this is so simple for asylum seekers. Instead, they need our support. So if you are reading these lines, I am sure you wish to help over here. If you can’t give your time, if you could spare a donation, this is just as valuable. Please act now, don’t rely on others to do it because they might be thinking the same, and relying on you.”