Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home

How we’re helping refugees in Europe

More than 41,000 refugees arriving in Europe, mostly from Syria, have been helped thanks to the generosity of Tearfund supporters.

Tearfund | 07 Jan 2016

More than 41,000 refugees arriving in Europe, mostly from Syria, have been helped thanks to the generosity of Tearfund supporters.

Through five partners in Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Greece, we’re providing basic essentials for people who in many cases have fled with just the clothes they stand in.

Here Peter Arthern, who administers our response to the refugee crisis in Europe, reports on our work on three Greek islands, which have witnessed more than 250,000 arrivals in 2015 alone.

‘These lifejackets were abandoned by refugees arriving on the island of Chios. The day before I visited this beach, there were 1,300 new arrivals. The day before that 1,400 people arrived. And it’s been like that for months on Chios. Refugees and migrants arrive all along the coastline of the Greek islands of Chios, Samos and Kos. There is a huge illegal business smuggling people across the short sea journey from Turkey to Greece in basic inflatable boats. Smugglers were charging US$1,500 per person to make this journey when we were there, sharing a boat with about 20 others. During the summer, they were charging US$2,500 per person.

‘After the elation of making it safely to land after journeys at sea, many refugees soon succumb to exhaustion. They’ve been on such an emotional rollercoaster, not to mention the physical discomfort of their lengthy and uncertain travels. I came across this family who were waiting outside a reception centre. The children were so weary they’d simply crashed out as soon as they had sat down on the grass.


Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.