The refugee crisis has been one of the most discussed events in recent times and it has been getting a lot of media attention as well. The crisis was also one of the most searched topics on Google in 2015.

Thousands of Syrian families fled the war and violence and headed to Europe in hope of finding peace and better future. Yet a number of them were not that lucky.

The stories of the immigrants are sometimes unbelievable and, thanks to our community photographer Martin Bruining, we have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what the situation is like at the refugee camps in Greece. Just looking at the beaches in Lesbos gives you an idea of the tragedy that has unfolded.

 


“People arrive in Lesbos in boats every day, looking for safety, risking their lives taking rickety boats supplied by human traffickers. Men, women, children and babies. All arrive daily on the beaches of the Greek Islands, welcomed by residents and volunteers who came there to help,” Bruining told us.

 

 

 

Despite the number of volunteers, the refugees’ stories are not happy at all.

“The stories are far from ordinary. In one of the camps I met a Syrian man with a baby in his arms. The baby girl was born in Turkey and made the dangerous crossing on the first month of her life, not knowing what still lies ahead. Turning one year, she will have suffered more than I hope I ever will in my whole life.”

Martin said and added another story:

“There was a 16-year-old Afghan boy, whose family gave him all their money so he could go and look for safety in Europe. He just heard that the border between Macedonia and Greece was closed for Afghans. ‘I can’t go back home. Where am I supposed to go now?” he asked Martin.

Many stories similar to these are now forgotten and lost in the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. This huge pile of life jackets, each of which has its own story, looms there as a sad reminder.