21 Sep 2015
“I’m doing this because I have never seen so many people sleeping off in the streets on cold concrete … Pregnant women, babies, and sick old men… No one is helping them”
Said Gabriela Andreevska after being asked of why she is helping Syrians. Gabriela is a Macedonian lady who volunteered to help refugees at the Greek-Macedonian border, most of the people who crossed that border know her or at least have seen her.
Every day, thousands arrive from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere to Gevgelija, on the border with Greece.
Most are completely unprepared for the journey. They know little about what they need to do, and they’re often travelling with nothing except the clothes on the backs.
Gabriela, along with other activists, provide the weary travellers with food, clothes, information, and hugs.
“I know it’s not part of their culture for me to touch a man, but I do it to let them know they’re welcome in Europe,” she says.
After a tiring day helping hundreds of people, she has to prepare for tomorrow, when she will do the same thing all over again.
Every day is very much the same for her, but for the refugees it is a new place and another step on their way to a new life in Western Europe.
While European countries make the journey more difficult as a way of discouraging refugees from coming, Gabriela does the opposite by trying to make their lives just a little bit easier.