In November, Headwaters returned to a refugee camp in Oinofyta, Greece where volunteers are working to support camp residents and children who have faced the trauma of persecution and separation from their homes and families in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Headwaters teams are interdisciplinary; this team included psychologists specializing in working with men, women and children. The team was comprised of both men and women psychologists so support could be offered to all residents. Other team members included physicians who provided medical support and individuals specializing in educational play therapy. Children’s activities were designed to promote and support resiliency. For children facing the ordeals of separation and loss, these activities bring a measure of normalcy and calm to their lives.
As a result of previous visits by Headwaters, the team has made significant progress in establishing rapport among the refugees. “We were invited for lunch and tea by many of the refugees,” said Angela Cavalier, the trip’s team lead. “They graciously invited us into their tents because we’d established trust with them – they felt comfortable sharing with us.”
The camp is operated through a partnership between the Greek government, Adventist Help, and Do Your Part with support from other NGOs. Given the recent influx of refugees fleeing, the numbers of residents at the Oinofyta Refufgee Camp nearly doubled in 2016.