The Greek 'mama' to refugees in Idomeni

The Greek border village of Idomeni is considered home to around 150 people, with the majority being pensioners. One grandmother has opened her heart and her home to countless refugees.

The Greek 'mama' to refugees in Idomeni

World Bulletin / News Desk

With thousands of people around the world forgetting the pain and misery of what its like to lose everything, 82 year old Panagiota Vasileiadou, hasn't forgotten the difficult that she experienced herself and has witnessed hundreds of refugees begging for food to feed their children or clean water to shower and wash their clothes.

The daughter of ethnic Greek refugees, she herself left Turkey in a population exchange after the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish war and is now doing all she can to help the latest wave of refugees by giving out food and clothes on her monthly pension of €450 with some support from her children.

For the grandmother, to cook and help them with their basic needs gives her immense satisfaction.“My life changed because I have company in the house,” Vasiliadou says in a UNHCR video. “I talk, we laugh. Even though we can’t understand each other,” she laughs. 

Referring to the World War II and the German occupation, Vasiliadou talks about her experience as a refugee. “I was seven years old when our house was burned down. We didn’t have a spoon, a fork, bread or clothes. The only thing we had were the nightgowns we were wearing. Five children. No clothes. Nothing.”





Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Nisan 2016, 11:21