Christmas parties

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Refugees celebrate Christmas

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Children and their parents were at last able to eat as much as they wanted.

Pope Francis, Federal President Joachim Gauck and numerous church representatives in Germany used their Christmas messages to draw attention to the fate of refugees in Europe. wortundtat is grateful that this issue has been given so much prominence, as the helpers who are engaged in our Greek wortundtat project have been observing on a daily basis how people suffer from losing their homeland and the difficult conditions they are exposed to in Athens.

The Love Meals – the Christmas celebrations of the wortundtat partner in Athens – are a good opportunity to convey to the refuges that, in spite of all the adverse circumstances, they are welcome in this world. 800 people in need had been invited this year. There was plenty of food spread over three afternoons as well as small presents for the children, clothing, coats and sleeping bags for the adults and of course the nativity story translated into various languages. The guests of these celebrations were able to enjoy some peaceful hours.

Medical Centre is becoming increasingly more important

The Medical Centre, which was opened by wortundtat in autumn 2012 – right at the centre of Athens -, has also become increasingly important for the refugees: meanwhile, about 350 children are coming regularly to be treated. The resident paediatrician not only takes care of acute diseases – flu, colds or minor injuries -, she also tries to provide help in respect of  underlying problems. For example, a lack of injections or protracted respiratory infections but also a poor not well balanced diet can be the root causes for many diseases. A small help are the meals visitors at the centre are offered and the food parcels, which  Hellenic Ministries has been distributing among the poor for some time.

However, medical work for children is only part of the help provided. A large number of women too are coming to the centre to be treated by the gynaecologist. Each patient receives an examination booklet, in which diagnoses and therapies are recorded, providing valuable information for other doctors, should the refugees leave Athens – either because they are returned to their home country or because they continue their flight.

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A magician performed some tricks and playfully conveyed parts of the Christmas message.