It is really beautiful to live the everyday life of arabic people. People who are afflicted and seduced by the “refugee path” bring with them their unique and inalienable property, which is their history and culture. YMCA achieved to combine the Arabic culture with the strong Greek tradition of Nymfaio village. The result is the Humanity, as it dictates the YMCA of Thessaloniki spirit.
101 Syrian refugees beneficiaries of the REACT program followed the staff of YMCA of Thessaloniki, professional executives and volunteers on a wonderful and unique journey. Our destination was the traditional village of Nymfaio at Florina. Actually, we stayed at the Mountainous Training Center of YMCA, located in the core of the forest.
Refugees enjoyed the three day excursion. With the babies in the arms, or on the pushchairs, some of them with sticks and others with a baby in the one hand and in the belly another, they walk, chatting, singing, cutting blackberries… Sometimes they stopped somewhere to observe a shrieked scarecrow or to photograph a small bear in the shelter of Arctouros.
Games of acquaintance that strengthen self-esteem and teamwork took place in the Mountainous YMCA Center. But.. our main objective was to keep cheerful and smiling the refugee kids, while their parents enjoyed the company developing sociability without distress.
We observed the way they express their feelings. They are singing out of their misery. They smoke hookahs (nargile) to share power each other, make coffee to stay a little longer in the company and wear the hijab because they respect their tradition, the spouse who is away, in another country, or lost forever …!
They cooked, prepared the fire at the barbecue
reliving “.. a bit of past beautiful days ..”!
The project was implemented with the support and subsidized by Unicef.
Anna Magdalini Argyri