The Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), faithful to the principle “We help here and now” supports Ukrainian war refugees who recently arrived in Greece through a useful donation of hygiene and everyday items such as bedding and towels aiming to cover basic needs. The donation was made to the Long Term Accommodation Centre of the town of Serres where there are currently 81 Ukrainian refugees.
The ASB donation consists of 16 pallets containing everyday items such as pillows, bedding, blankets, towels, personal hygiene items including shampoos, shower gels, hair combs, shaving foams, toothpastes, toothbrushes for adults and children, as well as house hygiene items such as detergents, cleaning sponges but also baby strollers, clothes racks, even wash basins.
The camp manager at the site of Serres, Mrs. Dimitra Panagiotaki, thanked ASB for the generous donation “there were 16 pallets with blankets, pillows that we didn’t have, but we even saw washing basins one might not think of. In a refugee site that hosts people who come with only one set of clothes, anything useful, even the smallest soap, helps us out, so we thank you very much. Even from today, we feel more relieved to have extra household items in our warehouses.”
The Serres Camp Manager explained to us that the local community welcomed the arrival of Ukrainian refugees showing a great sense of hospitality by also bringing their own donations to the refugee site. She stated that the children have already started attending the Greek state school and added that they are very happy and excited to attend a class with the local students.
Mrs. Nina Topalova, her two children aged 8 and 10, her sister and mother, were the first to arrive at the Serres refugee camp on March 6, 2022. Mrs. Topalova is from Mariupol – the city had a Greek ethnic origin population of over 100,000 – where she used to teach Greek at the elementary school of Tsermalik.
She told us that they did not want to leave “but the situation had reached the point of no return, we put in a bag what we found in front of us and in ten, fifteen minutes at the most we had left with our car. Our journey to arrive in Greece lasted five days and it was very difficult, but we managed to get here, and I am very happy that we are staying here now.”
Her children are already going to the Greek school and have made new friends. She does not know yet what she will do in the future but right now, her children are happy here and asked her to stay. Visibly moved she adds: “Here at the site, we understood that family is not only where your own family is, but also these people here who have welcomed us, who stand by our side, and care about us by giving us their support. They help us regain our strength and figure out how we will continue our life“.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 13,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Greece. Most of them went to live with their relatives or friends and a small number which is increasing day by day, find accommodation at the Greek accommodation sites in the area of Serres and Elefsina.