An 11 year old girl we will call Rema was in clinic today complaining of weakness and fatigue. No surprise, she is still recovering from a bout of Hepatitis A, which several people in the refugee camp had and which put her in the hospital for over a week. She also is nervous and afraid. So many miles her and her family have covered to wind up in a Refugee camp in Greece, far away from the civil war that has been going on in Syria for half of her life so far. Still the bombs drop every day and the innocent run.
Rema’s labs are getting better. She should have a full recovery of the body, as long as she manages to stay safe and clean in the camp. Her father pulled a cell phone out to show us shots of her paintings. She has been doing painting with another NGO in the camp: she has beautiful nature pictures, and a hopeful picture of a house she imagines in Germany. She tries out some German words with our translator’s encouragement. They are waiting, hoping, for a new life once the bureaucracy lets them move on, though they wait month after month.
Rema the artist, weak in the body but brimming with hope. A privilege to care for, though the setting is rough. Pray for her and families like hers, stuck between war and bureaucracy.
Written by Paul Bunge, MD while volunteering for WAHA International in camps in North Greece, under the ASB project, funded by ECHO (European Union Humanitarian Aid). “This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.”