Moria, for me, is a very depressing place, nothing close to a safe environment.” “The whole area is surrounded with fences,” Gabriela explained.“Even in the middle of all of this, it’s amazing how small groups and organisations manage to create a pleasant atmosphere inside a kid’s tent or a tea tent.” Most of Gabriela’s work was done in a Stage 1 camp named Platanos, which received the refugees just as they got off the boats.Every day, new stories surface about the Syrian Refugee crisis.
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“We help them out of the sea together with the lifeguards and then provide warm and dry clothes for them.
Today (January 21), we thankfully had a smooth day even though we were all very busy with at least 14 boats arriving,” she wrote explaining her exhaustion.
One rainy night while walking with a friend through the windy, cold weather, Gabriela snuck into one of the closed Syrian compounds, Moria–a former detention center and military base. “Even though the weather was terrible, there were people sleeping in tents outside.
Lesbos is located just off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea, where refugees are received.
“Back in Brazil, we started a campaign to collect donations of socks and money,” she wrote from Lesbos in January.
“Some people didn’t really understand why I was putting so much time and effort in a cause that for them is so far away from me, but most of the response we got was very positive.” In Lesbos, Gabriela stayed on the northern shore of the island in a village called ‘Skala Sikaminias’, which received most of the vessels carrying Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi refugees from Turkey.In 2016 alone (up to mid-March), more than 143,000 refugees have landed in Greece from neighbouring Turkey, according to the UN Refugee Agency.Some 400 refugee women, children, and men were reported missing/drowned attempting the 2-hour-long journey in overcrowded boats and inflatable dinghies.“Yesterday (January 20), we had two deaths in the morning and most of the arrivals were extremely chaotic and stressful.The refugee crisis and the global response serve not only as a reminder of our indifference towards the suffering of others, but also reflects the far-reaching implications of our indifference. People around the world are breaking the curse of apathy and responding to the tragedy.When 16-year-old Gabriela Shapazian from São Paulo, Brazil convinced her mother to make an ambitious plan to travel to the Greek island of Lesbos, the teenager had very little expectations but plenty passion and enthusiasm about what the experience would bring.