On March 5th, 2021, Dr. Apostolos Veizis, Executive Director of INTERSOS Hellas, joined ERT’s 103,7 s radio show “#Namaste 2o programma” to speak with the journalist Ioanna Niaoti about the war in Ukraine and the mission of INTERSOS there.
«Here on the Polish-Ukrainian border rushed the INTERSOS team to a large mall where 2,000 refugees have reached, and we try to provide primary health care and psychological support to women and many children. These people have been walking for more than 70 hours moving either on foot or by car in the cold, without food and water. Children don’t say a word because they are shocked by the bombings. They lived for too long in the shelters without proper food. It really is a difficult situation because refugees who arrive in Poland stay here for a while and then they are gone. They want to go as far away from here as possible. Their parents, their husbands have been left behind because they are fighting and are not allowed to leave.
And it’s one of the few cases of war that not all the family members can leave. I hear women saying “if only we found a safe place for our children! Then we could return lest our homeland be saved and our children could come back again”. This war affects a generation that is being lost and we must protect them. It sounds a bit desperate but it is quite close to our door and we are probably not prepared for such moments.
The patients we treat every day are people with health problems for a long time, problems related to their travel, the war situation, and they deal with many mental health issues. The second group of INTERSOS’ professionals is located on the border of Moldavia with Ukraine near Odessa where we also provide primary health care for people who are fleeing away. People tend to stay longer in Moldavia than in Poland. There is too much mobility of these people as well as too much solidarity from many countries.
I really hope this wave of solidarity will last long. Of course, our wishes and thoughts are with people in Ukraine where we are already making efforts to find a way so as to help the hospitals and the organizations that are still working there. There is also a collaboration with some small organizations to help more people in need. We continue and I hope that this wave of solidarity in Europe will include also other refugees because in fact when we talk about war, refugees, let alone the situation in Ukraine well what’ s happening there is not that different from Syria, Yemen, Congo, Afghanistan etc. I believe that whether it is near us or a little further away from us, we should interpret it in the same way. And I think that even if we have the potential to face it, it also matters to have the political will to ensure a better world for all of us».
Click here to listen to the interview: https://webradio.ert.gr/deytero-programma/namaste-deftero-savvato-05-martiou-2022/