Caritas Czech Republic provides material and health aid to refugees in Athens

Caritas Czech Republic provides material and health aid to refugees in Athens (photo: Caritas Switzerland).

Entrusted by Caritas Czech Republic, Diocesan Charity Brno has supplied to Athens 17 tons of material aid for the refugee camps since this January. The partner organization Caritas Greece, the biggest social clinic in Athens ((Metropolitan Community Clinic Helliniko) and Fair Planet Health organizations are the main beneficiaries of the aid. In cooperation with the latter organization, Caritas also dispatched students of the Faculty of Medicine in Brno to aid refugees in Athens. The crisis fund of Caritas Czech Republic supported the activities with the amount of CZK 138.000.

Although the main mission of Caritas Czech Republic is to provide social services to people in need at the local level, the organization has extensive experience in integrating refugees and foreigners.  Caritas Czech Republic has provided humanitarian aid in the current refugee crisis on all the Balkan routes since September 2015. It was active for a short time in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia,for a longer time in Slovenia, is now in Greece.. In total, it has invested more than CZK 1.000.000 in aid, supplied 300 tons of material aid and dispatched over 100 workers and volunteers to the crisis locations on the borders.

The material aid, supplied by the Caritas to Greece this year, covered non-perishable food, footwear, clothes, sanitary supplies, napkins and baby milk. Thanks to the Czech supplies, Caritas Greece and its Athens branch are able to provide at least 400 portions of cooked food to refugees per day. In addition, it has provided clothing, a children’s corner and sanitary services for the migrants. The other part of the humanitarian package consists of health material and medicines.

The activities to aid refugees in Greece were supported with the amount of CZK 138.000 from the crisis fund of Caritas Czech Republic.

In addition to the mentioned supplies, Czech medicine students also assist in dealing with the situation. Their surgical activities at the refugee camp in Helliniko fulfill in practice the recently signed Memorandum on cooperation between Diocesan Charity Brno and Masaryk University.

“It is natural for me to help people, I am convinced that we will gain valuable experience, and we are happy that our knowledge can be beneficial to someone” says Marina Žižlavská, medical student, who joined the first dispatch of medical students to the refugee camp in Athens – Helliniko.