My second day with NPI gave me a better idea about the ever-changing situation at the camps in Thessaloniki and how much the families living there appreciate our work. A post by Meredith, Volunteer.
In Sindos, today the military staff was changing the location of the Baby Hammam tent, so we were unable to give the baby baths. Several mothers asked about the unavailability of the Baby Hammams, but fortunately we were able to distribute our water supply to interested families. On the other hand, our midwife and lactation consultants had a very busy day performing infant examinations, giving breastfeeding consultations, and providing diapers, wipes, complementary food, and other supplies.
Recently there has been concern about the situation at Sindos because the Greek authorities have expressed uncertainty about the future of the camp. Today we received news that any decisions would be postponed because so many families signed a petition opposing changes. Even though they live in dire circumstances, these families fear that if they are forced to move, they will not have access to the services we and the other NGOs on-site provide.
But it’s about a lot more than just “services.” Since the mission of NPI focuses on mothers and their babies, there is a tangible sense of trust and tenderness. At our end-of-day debrief at the Kalochori camp, I noticed sandwiches and fruit salad sitting by the corner of the breast-feeding tent. I learned that a mother at this camp comes every day to give our volunteers food she has prepared. A woman who has next to nothing, offering what little she has to show her gratitude for NPI.
These tokens of kindness and appreciation are not only a beautiful testament to the generosity and affection of these families in times of crisis, but also stand to confirm that what we do at NPI is valued by the communities we are trying to help.
Help us ease the burdens placed upon these families by donating today.