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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Fr Malcom in Athens reports on Afghan refugees in the Greek capital

The Senior Chaplain of Athens, Canon Malcolm Bradshaw, continues his engagement with ecumenical partners in attending to the needs of the growing numbers of migrants and refugees in the country. Fr Malcolm describes this as a "fast changing scene along with a sense of melt-down", politically and economically. The word on the street is that 2 million people are heading towards Greece!

On Saturday, Fr Malcolm assisted the Salvation Army in the delivery of sandwiches and mild to the approximately 800 families of Afghans who are now encamped in central Athens. Here are some photos of the camp and of Fr Malcolm's visit.

At 7.30 am Fr Malcom and Captain Polis Pandelis of the Salvation army arrive with sandwiches to meet the refugees arriving by metro having come by ferry from the Greek Islands.

Sanitary facilities are extremely limited in the camp, with just one hosepipe, one make-shift shower, and two chemical toilets for over 800 families.

Fr Malcolm sees the need for greater coordination among the churches involved in humanitarian outreach, and he has been instrumental in organising some meetings bringing together Apostoli (the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan social programme), the Anglicans, the Salvation Army and others. The Churches' Commission on Migration in Europe is looking urgently at how it can assist partners on the ground.

Meanwhile, Fr Malcolm would welcome any donations towards this humanitarian outreach. Funds are extremely scarce and the need is growing every day. Details of how to donate to this work will be available in the next couple of days, when I have discussed the appropriate channel with the diocesan treasurer.

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