Portland woman in Greece helps Syrian refugees

Portland woman in Greece helps Syrian refugeesimage

25 Dec 2015

It may be Christmas on Friday, but for Syrian refugees it doesn’t feel like a holiday as they run from violence in their country and struggle to survive.

“It’s really heartbreaking not only what they’ve left behind, but what they’ve had to leave on their journey,” said Jasmine Avgerakis, who works with Mercy Corps and has been on the Greek island of Lesbos for the last couple months.

This Christmas, the Portland native is working to help and feed the almost 2,000 refugees that arrive daily.

“Over four-million refugees have fled Syria,” began Avgerakis. “Four million, that’s the state of Oregon,” she continued.

Avgerakis said while it may be the holiday season, there is no break when it comes to her work helping Syrian refugees.

“There is no holiday when refugees are coming. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday, Tuesday or Saturday or Sunday or Christmas Day or Hanukkah or Ramadan,” she said.

So this holiday, she’ll be working just as hard as any other day she’s worked in the last couple months in Lesbos.

“Tomorrow we will be serving food to refugees,” said Avgerakis.

She said the meal will be simple, consisting of rice, white bean sauce and steamed green beans. It will feed at least 1,700 hungry people.

This holiday, Avgerakis and many others are spending their time demonstrating what this time of the year is about, the season of giving.