Rain

Working in the camp is like working in a different world. While outside everybody is talking of the super moon, inside, we have no time to watch the sky. As most volunteers have travelled home during the weekend, we are operating in a reduced team.

The refugees are assigned to one sector inside the camp and are not allowed to leave it without specific authorisation from the police. Tonight, they are all being brought to the same sector, which is by now overcrowded. No buses are leaving for the moment, but more and more people arrive. The tents are full, so people sleep outside on the ground.

As the tents in the sector are overcrowded, people sleep on the ground outdoors.


As the tents in the sector are overcrowded, people sleep on the ground outdoors. (Opatovac 28/09/2015)

Temperatures have dropped, and people still do not receive enough blankets and warm clothes, so we distribute as much as we can, running back and forth between the IHA warehouse and the camp. We finally also have access to the Red Cross warehouse. When it starts raining, I take a Magna volunteer with me to grab UNHCR tarpaulins. In the camp, we cut them into smaller pieces and with help from other volunteers and the refugees, we cover the people sleeping on the ground. This is not as good a protection as a tent, but at least they will not get completely soaked. With all the help, this job is done quite quickly. The picture that presents now looks creepy though. Somebody asks if all these covered bodies are people who died.

When it starts raining, we cover them up with tarpaulins. No, they are not dead bodies.


When it starts raining, we cover them up with tarpaulins. No, they are not dead bodies. (Opatovac 28/09/2015)

The shift before us also build a mobile charging station with a bench and a generator, so we can bring it to the sector where people are actually staying, which is quite well appreciated. Many people do not even try to lie down and sleep. As they are freezing, we cook tea and soup, and do not stop giving it out for the rest of the night.

Improvised mobile phone charging station, so we can bring it to where people are staying.


Improvised mobile phone charging station, so we can bring it to where people are staying. (Opatovac 28/09/2015)

It makes me angry to see these people staying out in the rain without any shelter, all cramped in one sector, while there are enough empty tents just on the other side. It is frustrating to see warehouses full of dearly needed supplies not being distributed for lack of staff. It makes me sad to know the only warm thing people get in days is the tea and soup we are giving out. It is one thing if there are not enough supplies or tents available, but here in Opatovac, there is no lack of supplies, it is all about organisation.

Refugees work

excellent work, i admire your courage, availability and immediate action

:-)

Thank you, Carlo

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