€1,325.00Donated So Far
On Wednesday, 19th July 2023, my beautiful mountain village of Salakos was evacuated as part of the wildfires of Rhodes in Greece.
It happened quickly! One moment we watched distant smoke rising from the other side of our mountain (Profit Ilias); the next, black smoke and flames threatened to descend upon us, and we were ordered to evacuate.
It was a terrifying ordeal. But we were the lucky ones. The wind switched direction, taking the ravaging fire towards the southeast of Rhodes, where severe devastation prevailed. By now, the Rhodes fires were making worldwide headline news, and the rest of the world watched on helplessly as fire crews arrived from numerous countries to help at the head of the fire.
Meanwhile, in Salakos, with repeated flareups on the mountain, it was up to the local fire volunteers and villagers to protect our beloved mountain and village, often hampered by strong winds and night darkness.
I watched people I care about, men, women and young boys, fight tirelessly to protect us. Often sending up desperate calls via social media for additional help as they fought to control the beast.
Many of you know I somehow found my way to Salakos five years ago while at a crossroads and low ebb in my life. The local community's warmth, friendship and generosity soon convinced me this was the place for me to settle and rebuild my life.
The villagers' ongoing support, kindness and friendship have been overwhelming and humbling, not least when I required blood donations in preparation for an operation last year. A post on the community Facebook group read, "SOS - fellow villager needs help."
I have come to realise, during this difficult time, that I am not the only person touched by the villagers of Salakos. So many tourists and friends I have welcomed to the village over the years have reached out in the past few days, asking about our welfare.
As a result of the fires, I have learned that the community needs some essential things to make their job of protecting their mountain and village better. Things like *generators, pumps, and additional firefighting equipment.
Now I ask for your help so that we can give back to the village of Salakos by donating to the "Giving Back To Salakos" campaign.
Whatever we can raise will be given directly to the *people of Salakos, for them to decide where to invest for the future safety of their beautiful mountain and village. Thank you.
*The water supply for the village of Salakos is pumped directly from the springs in the mountain of Profit Ilias. A generator is urgently needed as a backup, in case of power failure during a fire, to ensure the community will continue to have water to protect their village.
*Representatives for the community, including the village president, will be charged with deciding how best to allocate the funds.
- Annie MacLean
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