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  • Every single minute, twenty four people around the world flee their homes

  • because of violence and natural disasters, war or human rights violations.

  • As a result, there are around sixty-five million people who have currently been forcibly displaced from their homes.

  • Fifty percent are under seventeen years old

  • while seven percent are unaccompanied minors.

  • But where do they go?

  • While many have discussed the social and political implications of these moving groups,

  • we wanted to understand 'how do you build a refugee camp?'

  • Refugee camps exist around the world

  • from Azerbaijan to Thailand to one of the largest camps Dadaab, located in Eastern Kenya

  • which currently has two hundred and forty-six thousand (246,000) people living in it.

  • We decided to visit Lesvos, a Greek island near Turkey

  • which has been an essential entry point into Europe for refugees

  • fleeing places like Syria and Afghanistan and making the trip across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

  • The capital of Lesvos is Mytilene, a surprisingly lively port city

  • considering its population size of around 30,000 people.

  • But as the refugee crisis began in 2015,

  • it became one of the spontaneous sites for those fleeing war and persecution,

  • and a transit refugee camp called Kara Tepe was set up on the outskirts of the city

  • which would become a gold standard for refugee camps.

  • Currently, it is housing at-risk populations.

  • In the beginning Kara Tepe was just an Olive Grove;

  • no place to shower, no place to use a bathroom. It was complete chaos.

  • At the peak of the refugee crisis, thousand of people were arriving daily to this area.

  • They would stay for two to three days

  • and then continue their journey to mainland Greece.

  • At times, five-thousand (5,000) people were occupying Kara Tepe

  • even though its capacity was 1,400.

  • So the first thing that refugees need when they arrive at the camp is information.

  • After their traumatic experience, they may not know which country they're in,

  • they don't speak the language,

  • and they need information in this critical time to understand the process.

  • So I arrived here, I think it took us around ten hours.

  • In the sea.

  • Hearing someone speaking the same language with them.

  • "Don't be afraid, you are safe here."

  • "Listen to me and you will go through these procedures,"

  • "You will get your paper, you will buy your ferry ticket,"

  • What do they need to ensure that they can be safe here while they stay here,

  • but knowing that they would be moving off the island very very shortly

  • and they need the information that would be key for them

  • to make informed decisions about their journey to Europe.

  • Another really important aspect, obviously, for everyone is water.

  • And so when this crisis first happened,

  • what they would do is have people lined up and handing out water.

  • But thankfully it's close to a city

  • and they were able to actually hook the water up through the city

  • to right here.

  • The whole island is suffering this problem.

  • So for this reason, we provided the tank capacity of 15 cubic metres of water.

  • So in case there's a water cut, we have our own reserved water on site.

  • - Hi! - Hello

  • I youtube'd you, 6 million subscribers!

  • Okay, say hi to our new friends.

  • Can you let us know your name?

  • How are you?

  • - Eman. - And my name is Tharouat.

  • And they've been nice enough to let us see into their home,

  • and talk to us about how what it's been like here at the site.

  • So what were you studying?

  • I studied English.

  • Can he speak Arabic?

  • - Yeah

  • - What's that? - Topography

  • M: They're both very smart people.

  • G: They're both smart. Smarter than us!

  • Water is not only essential for hydration,

  • but a key component of the WaSH program

  • which stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

  • Poor sanitation can lead to diarrhoea, dysentery,

  • cholera outbreaks, and other serious issues if not contained.

  • You have to imagine 5,000 people with absolutely nothing.

  • So we're talking about open defecation, this kind of situation.

  • The first response is always chemical toilets

  • that are placed at least 50m away from the nearest dwelling.

  • These are not sustainable and only a temporary solution.

  • The priority is then to build proper toilet, bathing, and laundry facilities.

  • Ten showers, fourteen latrines, ten washing areas.

  • As you can see, everything was built as basic as possible,

  • just to be able to deliver as soon as possible

  • and being able to relieve the situation.

  • For me, I accept everything here.

  • I am happy for I am here.

  • I don't know.

  • We were students, but he don't complete.

  • Unfortunately, I don't complete, too.

  • And I stopped for the war.

  • Because of the war.

  • My familly's in Holland.

  • So we want to go to Holland,

  • and we want to complete our education.

  • So once you've got this situation in control,

  • you're able to monitor and to track them.

  • Then you can switch to a different distribution method.

  • Having like a kiosk, like the one you have behind us.

  • People have a certain amount of items they can receive per week.

  • This is the most popular item -- the baby wipes.

  • Why do you think this is so popular? Because it's just used for everything?

  • Yeah, you can use it for a baby, you can use it for yourself.

  • So they may have things like toilet paper, wash scrubs. - An example of the sanitary pads is like this.

  • And we take this nice bag

  • - We use always for dignity reasons.

  • - And we give it like that. So no one will know it's sanitary pads.

  • So people come here, and you mention they have a card.

  • - Yes. - So how does the card work?

  • This is the month, the shelter, the householder.

  • Two adults, five minors, one kid.

  • Food in Kara Tepe is delivered to people's door

  • in order to avoid complications that occur when forcing people to wait in long lines.

  • And there are several nutritionists who have designed balanced meals,

  • which include any dietary restrictions.

  • Next up is shelter.

  • In the beginning, refugees were staying in tents.

  • But as the site is built out, refugee housing units,

  • or RHUs, come into play.

  • These were designed in Sweden, in partnership with Ikea.

  • Plastic houses that can be built in a day

  • and help against the weather and the elements.

  • As Kara Tepe's population became more stable and permanent,

  • the final step was to install isoboxes

  • of which there are currently 258.

  • In each shelter, the capacity recommended is six people per shelter.

  • But they'll be focused on one particular family,

  • or a group of people who know each other?

  • So for example, this area is mostly Arabic speakers and African a little bit.

  • And then in the backside area and in this area is more Farsi speakers that are originally from Afghanistan.

  • So these isoboxes have only been here for a few months now,

  • and they're basically just solid structures with not a whole lot on the inside.

  • - Really hot. - Yeah, they can get really hot.

  • Some of them, I think, have AC units installed.

  • But at least protection from the elements in extreme cases of weather.

  • - That... kite.

  • Whoa!

  • - That's amazing! - YouTube!

  • Okay, sit down

  • Got a little. YouTube.

  • G: Why did you start making kites?

  • Hasan: "The kites are the only toys available for kids. They have no other toys to play with."

  • "So I became a master in making them!"

  • G: So how long have you been here in Kara Tepe?

  • H: Three months.

  • G: Three months. Okay.

  • H: Now, seven and a half months.

  • G: Seven and a half months. H: Yes.

  • G: In Greece. H: Yes, yes.

  • Electricity has been always a really big challenge.

  • We needed to respond with renewable energy,

  • like the solar panels.

  • And at the same time we have an olive kernel burner.

  • Kara Tepe has the same electrical installation as the common house, for the entire camp.

  • Which is why renewable energy has become so essential.

  • Here, behind us, the structure with the cupcakes on it,

  • these are solar panels,

  • and these solar panels will power these isoboxes to have one light,

  • plus a USB port to charge your phone.

  • And that's also really important because the USB port

  • and their phones is how they use flashlights at night

  • and obviously the light is important for them to be able to see at night.

  • Being connected to Wi-Fi is also extremely important to the refugees.

  • The news is always changing.

  • The options are always changing.

  • Or even if the options stay the same,

  • the rumours around those options are rampant.

  • So it's incredibly important for refugees

  • to be able to go online,

  • to be able to check and see what the actual facts are

  • around those circumstances here.

  • So it's a really interesting camp because it's so well put together,

  • there's so much sort of thought and order which goes into it,

  • which you've been told, in other camps, is not necessarily the case.

  • Some of them have much rougher conditions,

  • have a harder time getting water, or sewage, or electricity.

  • So basic needs are being met here,

  • that's an interesting good thing to see.

  • Kids, children who've been staying here for eight to nine months,

  • they need to have access to education.

  • This is part of the human rights, you know.

  • And children rights.

  • Eman: I just studied to pass the exam. Just to pass.

  • G: Would you learn Shakespeare?

  • E: Yes, Shakespeare.

  • We have a whole subject just for Shakespeare,

  • and theatre for Shakespeare.

  • It's very difficult.

  • G: Because it's hard for us to understand. M: Yeah, even if we speak English.

  • E: Yeah, I don't understand it. M: Another language.

  • E: It's not English. I don't know.

  • Education programs for a refugee and moving, displaced populations

  • are the basic courses that will enable them to join, at a later stage, a normal curriculum.

  • As the camp becomes more established and more long term,

  • things like psychologist offices come into play,

  • and doctors offices come into play, to help with,

  • not only trauma that has happened from the previous events,

  • but chronic issues with health and mental stability.

  • You know, these are people who,

  • for the most part, have fled war.

  • They're seeking sanctuary.

  • They really want nothing more than to live a safe life.

  • They want their kids to go to school.

  • They want to pursue their dreams.

  • And they're stuck here,

  • and they really have no true sense of what's gonna happen

  • for them in the next few months.

  • No sense at all.

  • If we want to go to Holland, I think we have to wait for the passport to go to Holland.

  • Then there we can say that we maybe don't want to come back.

  • I don't know the law. So I don't know.

  • We came here to talk about the actual logistics of building a refugee camp,

  • but you are just consistently meeting people,

  • talking to people,

  • and realising the humanity of it all.

  • And not only refugees, but the people who work here

  • who are so passionate about the work they do and care so much,

  • put themselves into...

  • I think the issue is just so complex.

  • Like so often people have these opinions on them.

  • They're like, "this is my opinion, and this is the way it should be."

  • But it's so complex.

  • The levels of what's going on,

  • and the empathy that's required for everyone to understand

  • and to move forward is really high.

  • It takes effort to learn about these things.

  • The whole thing is just being educated on the issue,

  • but not projecting your feelings too much

  • and not projecting that anyone can understand the entirety of this crisis.

  • And it's just a really difficult situation that

  • a lot of people are put in without wanting to be.

  • So being compassionate, being empathetic,

  • is the most we can do

  • to people who are suffering.

  • And so if something were to happen in your country,

  • there is laws and ways that you could leave,

  • and have something like this to be set up,

  • but you would always want your freedom back.

  • So far this site, the way it's improved,

  • and now the quality of life now existing here,

  • it's amazing.

  • You can't find another site all over Greece with the same living conditions.

  • But of course, as a human being,

  • I would like also these people to move somewhere else,

  • get something better.

  • Not a camp or site, or whatever you want to call it.

  • For the IRC, the ultimate would be to see

  • a world where there were no refugee sites.

  • Where refugees could be integrated into local communities.

  • Where refugees are integrated into urban settings.

  • They are living lives that are full

  • and self sufficient,