In June 2016, Headwaters Relief volunteers and medical team members were invited to join Adventist Help doctors to assist them in supporting refugees at a camp in Oinofyta, Greece. The Headwaters team worked at the on-site clinic serving the camp, organizing supplies, establishing an effective system of response to inter-camp health issues while meeting the needs of the camp’s residents.
An important part of the effort was aimed at helping the camp deal with psychiatric emergencies and provide therapeutic activities currently not available to camp residents. Team members met with individuals who had been identified as needing possible mental health intervention and support while others engaged children in play therapy. This work provided a backdrop for understanding how Headwaters could be involved moving forward and provide recommendations for a system of ongoing mental health support through a network of international volunteers.
Dr. Roshan Khatri, who Headwaters met during its May deployment in Nepal, treated a number of patients including small children. Dr. Khatri also worked with EMT professional Grant DiCianni to stock and organize the camp’s ambulance. Additional activities included helping to build a raised vegetable garden to provide an alternative food source.
The Oinofyta Refugee Camp, located north of Athens, is run through a cooperative effort by the Greek government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, with support by international relief organizations including AdventistHelp and Do Your Part. The camp, which can house as many as 2,000 refugees, aims at treating individuals with the utmost respect and dignity and to support them however possible as they seek political asylum.