UPDATE: With the sudden worsening of the weather, refugees in Greece are now suffering and even dying of cold in -15 degrees and less. With that being said, all donations will now be going straight towards emergency supplies to help them stay warm and well, including supplements and medications, food, blankets, clothing and heaters.
Over the last few months, we have seen the situation in Syria worsen. Refugees are fleeing for anywhere they can reach, risking their lives for a chance at survival.
So many people want to make a difference, but don't know how. How can you possibly know where your donations are going, and how they will be used?
I feel that frustration. That's why I'm choosing to become a part of the solution.
I am heading to Greece this February with a team of mainstream and complementary health professionals. Our mission: to help refugees trapped in Greece to survive, and even thrive.
We will be working throughout clinics, camps and slums in Athens, Thessaloniki and Chios, undertaking numerous projects with volunteer organizations.
We have a chance to make a real difference to the health and well-being of the refugees staying in Greece.
Some of the current plans include:
- Support malnourished pregnant women, ensuring they have the nutrition they need.
- Supporting breastfeeding mothers so that they can keep their babies, and themselves, happy and healthy with breast-milk
- We will provide first aid and health checks for incoming refugees
- Distributing herbs and supplements which have been kindly donated by companies and clinics.
- Implementing basic exercise programs for adults and children
- Educating families around the concept of a "healthy plate" and implementing nutritional programs
- Monitoring growth of children and making sure they receive nutrition-rich foods
- Growing gardens for long-term supply of nutrient-dense foods
In fact, the more funds we have, the more programs we can implement!
These people are not faceless strangers who put themselves in a silly situation. They are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, who could not live in fear and terror every day anymore. They have experience, dreams, beliefs and passions, and they have every right to work towards those dreams just like you or I do.
I figure, between my friends, family and my beautiful followers on my business page, I have well over 1000 people in my network. If each person gave just $3 - less than a cup of coffee - I would be able to use the funds to buy much needed goods while supporting the local Greek economy. The more I raise over my goal, the more of a difference we can make to people who need the gift of food as medicine, support, and genuine human kindness.
If you really can't spare $3 - that's cool, I'm not going to judge you, I've been that broke before! But if you do see this page and can't help out financially, hit the share button - someone else might be inspired to help.
If you want to follow my journey, I will be posting across to my website and Facebook page as much as my internet will allow me - keep your eyes peeled over at www.facebook.com/samanthagemmellnutritionist for details as they arise.
For more details about what's going on in Greece and why people are in desperate need, have a read of these articles:
For less gloomy news of how people are inspired to help others and make a difference, or to make the best of their situation, check out:
Thanks to the team from I Am You for the beautiful images above - you can find them at www.facebook.com/iamyourescue
And finally, thank you to each and every one of my friends and supporters from the bottom of my heart. You will all be owed a big, squishy, 30 second Sam specialty hug for your time, support and thoughts!