According to a statement released after the gas explosion on 24 November by Advocates Abroad, the explosion and fire also destroyed documents necessary in the asylum process and left hundreds of camp residents traumatized.
It states that “the temperature is dropping, the use of gas canisters and heaters is rising, and unfortunately camp officials have not provided any oversight or education of safe gas use for Moria residents”.
Ricker said she has already filed complaints to the Greek ombudsman regarding nobody evacuating the camp, a lack of forensics at the scene of the fire, no checking of faulty canisters and a lack of doctors and psychologists after the incident.
The lack of medical treatment is not only an issue after incidents like the fire, but a general problem as well. “Most of the medical issues are related to their living conditions,” says Aurelie Ponthieu, Humanitarian Specialist on Displacement at Médecins sans Frontières.
“Then you have additional needs related to chronic disease, and mental issues as well, as you have lots of people who have been through traumatic experiences either through conflicts or violence or difficult situations during the migration journey.”
The boats in which the refugees arrive are often cheaply made and in a terrible condition. The life vests are not always real, and people smugglers fill them with sponges. Have a look yourself:
Patrick thinks the possibility of being more independent is the main reason why people chose to come to the social center.
“In the camps, there is not much space and privacy. Here they have a safe space where they can come and stay whenever they want”, says Patrick.
Next to the kitchen, a big room is divided into sections. One of them is a separate space just for women, the rest is supposed to be a children’s play area. In the corner, a medical tent is run by a volunteer doctor and a nurse.
“Of course, they can only provide basic medical treatment,” says Patrick.
About 30 minutes before the food distribution, the migrants line up. The food distribution is one of the major problems in the camps, says Patrick. “The residents of Moria told us that they have to wait in line for three hours without sitting to get their food.”
At the Social Center, the migrants get to cook, eat together and even sleep in squatted houses: