“I don’t want to be here. Life in the camp is a nightmare. Get me out of here.”
Ola, a paediatrician with whom we have been visiting the residents of the camp on the Greek island of Lesbos for the past week, heard these words today from 13-year-old Hamed. The boy’s parents asked us for help because their son had been having stomach pains for a while now. During the examination, Hamed whispered this heartbreaking cry for help to Ola.
Of course, we will take care of the boy, ease his suffering and get him the right treatment. Many more people here have problems with their digestive system. The food in the camp unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired. We will put Hamed on a list of special meals because, in addition to medication, he needs a proper diet, which no one here can provide except us.
Unfortunately, we cannot fulfil his greatest dream today. Nor are we able to explain to him why, although he is no different from other 13-year-olds, in the eyes of the European authorities he is inferior and does not deserve a normal home. He was driven out of the only one he ever had by bad people, turning his family’s life into a series of tragic events which, despite the fact that they reached the safety of Europe, are not yet over.
Let’s help Hamed today. He has enough to worry about for a 13-year-old and should not have to suffer because of lousy food. Let us feed him to his heart’s content with a hot meal specially prepared for him and, whatever our thoughts may be on the migration policies of one country or another, let us all agree that the hungry must be fed. Always.