places of interest
The refugee and migrant crisis has been going on for many years without Europe having found answers to this humanitarian crisis. In 2010 I visited Athens for the Red Cross to focus on the chaos that prevailed in Greece. In practice, the asylum system was broken down and refugees lived in poverty in the streets, in crowded apartments and in camps on the islands. People slept outside a police station and tried every day to submit their asylum applications. People stood in long queues outside places where food was being distributed. A mother with her young children had been sent back from Denmark with reference to the Dublin regulation and lived on some mattresses in a corner of a crowded apartment ...
Mathare Township outside Nairobi, Kenya is illegally build on government land with no acces to public water, sanitation and electricity. Open sewers run in the streets. Litter and plastic is everywhere. A group of Young Red Cross volunteers have taken an initiative to clean up, but the job is overwhelming. Private people make long pipelines from the main water supply far away and make a living out of selling drinking water. The same goes for electricity with dangerous wirering. People live in houses made of wood and metal plates using small stowes for cooking. The density of people and houses is high in Mathare and fires are frequent and spread fast. A girl is passing the place where several houses burnt and people died in he fire. On the ground a page from a school notebook is talking about good citizenship, participation in community development, participation in elections and involvement in government.
A trip through Saddam Husseins Iraq during sanctions, 1999.
On a journey for the Red Cross, I visited a refugee camp in Lithuania. In practice, the camp was a prison containing many nationalities. Pakistanis, who drove the time playing cricket, Afghans, a Russian woman who wanted to go to the United States with her daughter ... The physical conditions of the camp - the rooms, the beds, the bathing conditions - were not humane and during our visit there was trouble between the residents and the guards encouraged by our visit from outside in this time wastage, which seemed isolated and forgotten by the outside world. Refugee Camp, Lithuania, 1998.
At 8.46 in the morning of the 26th January 2001 an earthquake hit the province Gujarat leaving 400.000 homes in India and neighbouring Pakistan destroyed killing between 13.000 and 20.000 people. The epicentre was just 20 km's away from the town Bhuj, which was completely destroyed. Houses were laid open with family photos hanging on the walls. Local residents would go around looking for their possessions in the ruins of their houses. Volunteers and professionals from India and the world came looking for survivors in the rubble. Tents were raised and people standing in long lines for food distributed by the red cross / red crescent and other organisations. After a few days mostly dead people were found under the rubble and cremated immediately after with a short ceremony in the smell of burning sandal wood. Warning: strong images.