Friday 8:30pm in the morning. Families are already in front of the YMCA’s central gate. A mom holds in her arms the little newborn baby. All women are smiling, groomed, wearing colored hijab. Men are smiling but still restrained. Children obviously impatient to start our trip !! Οur destination? Nymfaio. !!!

We had notified the families to get dressed in warm clothes. According to forecasts at Nymfaio will snow, even though the trees clothed with white flowers and the hand of good April lit poppies like candles!

We should to be prepared for walking. This time the refugees will should not walk to get to another country and take refuge in a Hot Spot. This time they should walk to get known and enjoy the mountain scenery of Florina. They will have quality time to listen the rustling of leaves and the smell of the earth that takes the soil, when it awakens from the slumber of winter. Among the beeches, after passing the beautiful cobbled streets and stone-built houses of Nymfaio, if they  are lucky you will see once trapped bears and wolves in zoos and circuses.  Then they will sit in a picturesque coffee around the fireplace. Our children will play with theirs, we will offer them hot tea and traditional nettle pine and will offer us their traditional  lachem wa azine,  with warm smile of gratitude, transformed today and become the familiar smile of friendship and family.


How conceivable is families under peaceful conditions visiting beautiful villages for a couple of days, close to nature, trying to forget the bustle of the city and the problems of everyday life. Syrians they had this opportunity before the war started, before bombs destroyed their cities ,  before their home become dust and  before saw the death to be spread. In continuous, with a suitcase in the one h and and a child in the other, they passed from country to country in search of his lost dignity. Today at Nymfaio, they walk slowly smiling, occasionally stopping to immortalize a beautiful picture and remember that on April 7, 2017 they were in Greece, hosted by  YMCA .. and …they had good time. As they deserve.


Anna Magdalini Argyri