On Thursday 6th April 2017 we visited a hostel named “ Arsis “, in Makrinitsa ,which provides accommodation to young unaccompanied refugees and migrants. In 2006 , Arsis established the Hospitality Hostel of young refugees applying for asylum in co-operation with the Greek Solicitude Charity Organization of Volos , which donated this two-floor building for the same purpose.
At the moment , about 25 young refugees coming from Afganistan , Pakistan, Syria , India and Bagladesh are being hosted in this place and they are provided with staying, nutrition and first- aid services as well as legal help, consultant and psychological support , Greek and English Language lessons and their preparation for a future career and an autonomous way of living.
During our visit there, we discussed with both, the people working at Arsis and the young guests and migrants and we got informed about their work and the services provided. Our students talked with them and they played football , volleyball and chess with the same-aged children who abandoned their countries because of the war and , after many hardships, entered our country.
Our students, being already sensitive with refugees and migrants through their dealing with the European project “ Migrant”, they realized for one more time that refugees are not just numbers but also people like us!
This whole experience reminded us of Archbishop’s Ieronimus words , during one of his visits at a hostel.He said ‘’ the foreigner, near whom Christ is referred , is not only the one who has the same religion, the fellow- citizen, but also the one who is totally different, the one who has different beliefs and religion , different ideology ,someone who has a different skin colour from us and belongs to a different nationality. There is no love discrimination and we are not separated from anyone. We are next to him, close to him and stand by him!
Finally, we left the hostel all giving the promise of meeting again soon…..!