Representatives of the Deutsche Schule Athen recently visited the refugee reception centre in the area of Kastro on the island of Chios and offered 290 sleeping bags, in collaboration with the “Kids for the Kingdom Deutschland e.V” NGO and the Municipality of Chios. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other non governmental organizations also supported the initiative.
Chios is located in the northeastern Aegean sea, close to the Turkish coastline. It has severely been affected by the mass migration of people fleeing wars in the Middle East and beyond. A new registration and reception centre for 1,000 people has been prepared in an old factory outside of Chios town and will be opened shortly. Pending that, a new temporary reception site was opened in mid-November next to the walls of the historic castle near the port. There, UNHCR, in cooperation with the municipality and others, has set up 34 Refugee Housing Units (RHU) and two tent-like communal halls with heating, providing accommodation for up to 1,000 people.
So far, 2015 has seen 113,000 refugees arrive on Chios, with an average of about 700 a day in December, according to UNHCR. Officials from the Coast Guard, Frontex, and local police work to register new arrivals 24-hours a day. The influx has also brought together different sectors of the local community, from the municipal authorities, police and coast guard, to volunteers from the University of the Aegean and interpreters provided by MetAction, a UNHCR partner NGO.
SOURCE: Deutsche Schule Athen, Chios Municipality, UNHCR Greece
PHOTO: Deutsche Schule Athen