By Rita Carvalho and Francesca Pierigh, ECRE
We visited EKO camp near Polykastro on 28 May 2016. The events mentioned in this story refer to that visit.
Yes, you read about it. You see pictures. You think you know. But when you drive past it, you cannot help but be shocked. When you go inside, you cannot help but be shocked by the fact that this is the reality for this many people. There are around 1,500 people at EKO camp, maybe as many as 2,000, mostly Syrians.
EKO camp, named after the petrol station where it is located, is just off the side of the road leading to the FYROM border, near Polykastro in Northern Greece.
When compared to Hara Hotel, another camp nearby, conditions at this makeshift camp are a bit better. We see MSF distributing food, some mobile health clinics and two ambulances. We see many smiley volunteers busy giving information, working in the common kitchen or playing with children close to the improvised school. But still – people are sleeping in tents in the burning Greek sun.