My last article ” At the port of Lesbos ” (note the link above) ended by spending all night in my car. This is what happened afterwards :
First experience with the BDFM = Better days for Moria
The next night there was another terrible storm and I was pretty sure that no boats would arrive. My guess was confirmed later. I therefore spontaneously decided to go to Moria to help out there. In Moria, there are two camps: one is the official registry camp and the other the unofficial camp.
The unofficial camp was built thanks to a local, who made his piece of land available and built a wonderful camp among olive trees, with the help of individual volunteers. It bears the name: BDFM = Better days for Moria.
Around the clock, drinking water, hot food, tea & biscuits, as well as medical care and an information tent are available. Furthermore, during daytime, there is also a game tent for children, a small garden, a pizza oven which the volunteers built by themselves, where fresh bread and pizza are baked every day, and a clothing distribution.
The Official Camp, on the other hand, is heavily guarded and only accessible with an identity card, or for anyone working for one of the organizations that are active in the camp. In this camp, the mood seems more tense and there is no 24-hour medical care or food. However, the refugees have the opportunity to move freely between the camps.
In the upcoming days I will be working for Health Point Foundation (HPF), a medical organization that is operating in BDFM. It is the only medical tent in BDFM and has a triage room, a lounge, a small kitchenette, a pharmacy and a relaxation room. In the clinic, you really find everything needed for first aid application, and for medical care and examinations.
In this first stormy night, my help was more than welcome at BDFM. The managers asked me to go to the clothes tent to sort shoes. As several volunteers were there, time passed fairly quickly and before I could even look at the clock, the sun was already rising. When I opened the door, fifteen Pakistanis were already standing before me, waiting for new clothes and toiletries. They took their turns one by one, but it seemed as if the queue was endless. Most coveted were jeans and shoes, of which unfortunately, there were few and only several sizes.
At 09.00 pm, the clothes distribution was closed until the afternoon. I then went to the tea tent to have breakfast; there was muesli, Greek yoghurt, milk, coffee, bread and just about everything your heart desires. Then I finally went home to rest a bit.
My first experience at BDFM was really wonderful and I am already looking forward to working in the hospital in the following days.
What impressed me the most, was the difference between the two camps, it’s really striking. The official camp is surrounded with barbed wire and still very reminiscent of a prison, whereas BDFM looks like a festival or hippie tent. The atmosphere at BDFM is cheerful, everything is colorfully painted and you can really breathe. This very kind of warm place is soul-balm and sustenance for the overall well-being of the refugees. All this is actually owed to the hard working volunteers who have built this place, maintaining and improving it every day.
Translation from German: Serena Nebo