IHM DAILY HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE NEWS
Working with our partners, Salix & Co, from 8am each week day you can get a ‘heads up’ on the latest health and social care news, views and events by clicking here.
Friday 12th July 2019
#TheLittleThingsAreTheBigThings – Thank You
Roy and Terri recently visited Father John Luke, the current Vicar General on the island of Rhodes. (Terri and Father John Luke, originally met at the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing, where they were both nurses, before he changed his vocation). Within his ministry, Father John Luke provides support not only to the many islanders who are still struggling with the economic crises to have hit Greece in recent years, but he also supports an unofficial refugee camp on the island which houses mainly Syrian refugees; many of whom have walked across Turkey to then give their life savings to people who put them in boats bound for the Greek island. Many of these refugees are young women and children. Their stories are both harrowing and heart-rending. The camp is also seeing arrivals every week from Iraq, Iran and Gaza amongst other countries.
Local people have provided the refugees with a disused former abattoir to use, and this is being kept going by donations from charities and local people. All of which is set against a background of economic hardship in Rhodes, meaning many local islanders are demonstrating fantastic generosity at a time when many are dependent upon food banks.
Life within the refugee camp is difficult and often it is the little things that are the big things. Roy and Terri took a water melon into the camp, and the joy and excitement of cutting, sharing and eating such a simple thing as a water melon was fabulous to see. They also took in tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes which again caused great excitement with many of the children running off laughing and smiling to clean their teeth. For many of the children it was the first toothbrush they have ever owned.
These are brave people who have walked across entire countries, spent their entire life savings and risked their life and those of their children in plastic dinghies to escape persecution and find safety. In these circumstances the everyday, basic hygiene products we take for granted such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary products, etc are luxury items which they cannot afford to buy but which goes some way to giving them back some dignity in their lives. For the children also, simple colouring books, pens, crayons etc are greeted with shouts of joy.
Father John Luke, Terri and Roy would like to thank everyone here in the UK who has supported this camp for their generosity and good wishes – without which life in the camp would be even more difficult than it is now.
Roy and Terri have both produced short vlogs about their experience in this camp. Please find a few minutes to watch them, as they really bring home to you how the little everyday things we take for granted really are big things when you have no access to them. You can watch Roy’s vlog here and Terri’s vlog here.
If you would like to help the work of Father John Luke you can do this via the Just Giving page here.
Wishing you all a great weekend.
Loretta Outhwaite, Chief Executive (Interim)
email@example.com; 07545 073181