(Photos) Volunteer Nurse on the Front Lines of Greece’s Refugee Crisis: “Today I’m feeling broken and Defeated”


After spending more than a month volunteering for an aid agency on the island of Lesvos, Helen Zahos has relocated her volunteer efforts in the Greek border town of Idomeni where thousands of refugees are stranded, following the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia’s decision to close its borders.

The bottleneck of refugees is creating a strain for Greek and international aid workers as the weather worsens and more refugees arrive from Athens, after making the perilous crossing from Turkey.

“It is bitterly cold and there are chaotic scenes with food distributions and people fighting amongst themselves over a blanket or a spot in a tent. There is no more room here, yet buses keep arriving,” Zahos sent The Pappas Post in a message via Facebook.

“Today I’m feeling broken and defeated as more tired, hungry and cold refugees pile off a bus to realize they cannot cross the border. Then, they come to our medical tents looking for answers that we just don’t have.”

Zahos, who raised more than $20,000 to bring medical equipment and support items for her volunteer work has been volunteering in Greece for almost two months with Doctors of the World, an international aid organization with active Greek branches in the refugee hotspots. She spent more than six weeks on Lesvos before heading to Greece’s northern border with FYROM.

Helen provided the following images shot by her colleague Antonis Repanas.

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