The Refugees’ Grandmother in Idomeni, Greece

By , April 23, 2016 10:43 AM

Idomeni is a small village in Macedonia, Greece, near the northern border.

There is where a Greek grandmother using her mere monthly €450 pension and whatever her children can give, she stays tall providing shelter and food to those who seek her help.

Published on Apr 8, 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

“From her small house in Idomeni, Greek grandmother Panagiota Vasileiadou, 82, saw first-hand the bare need of refugees desperate for food to feed their children or clean water to shower and wash their clothes. As a daughter of ethnic Greek refugees herself – who left Turkey in a population exchange after the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish war – she is now doing all she can to help the latest wave of refugees by giving out food and clothes.”

“I was seven years old when our house was burned down, she says in a video interview for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (below), adding that “We didn’t have a spoon, fork, bread or clothes. The only thing we had left were the nightgowns we were wearing.”

“This old woman made our lives easier”, says Baraa, an Iraqi refugee. “I thank her so much and she represents the Greek people and what Greece stands for.”

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