The laundry list of conflict inducing struggles and setbacks are long, especially when it comes to Syria. A country in the midst of a bloody civil war between Bashar al-Assad’s forces and factions of the Syrian opposition. An unfortunate situation that has left many dead and millions displaced.
According to statistics released from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at the beginning of September, there are almost 5 million registered refugees due to the crisis, a term used to describe individuals that have been forced to flee from their home because of conflict or a natural disaster.
It is also a large population that is on the move to locate housing.
Jacob Plitman, a worker with Echo 100, an Austrian non-profit charity spoke with Faithwire about the uphill battles Syrians are facing inside of the Greece based camp, Ritsona, a location that himself and 180 families call home.
It is also the fountainhead of a “looming disaster.”
According to the warehouse manager and former New York City dweller, the pending season change can mean life or death for this vulnerable population.
“One of the main things I am concerned about, is that it is going to rain. It is going to get cold very soon and … it is going to land on my three tons of rice that I need to feed (camp refugees) in about three months,” he said.
“(Now) winter literally feels far away, I am sweating in my office, (but) it is going to come much faster than we will be able to adapt so I need to make sure this place, the things that keep them alive, hygiene etc. is secure,” Plitman stated.
“So while there is a present conflict outside, inside (the camp) there is a present conflict in the immediate term,” he explained, adding that,”I’m so far from any city, healthcare is miles away and hours away. These are really hard facts.”
Including, the question,”have you ever been in rain storm in a pine forest?”
Well in response to it, he said,”this thing happens, this thing with pine needles (is that) it doesn’t absorb any water, it is almost like you are standing on something instead of dirt.”
“So here, it is all pine needles and red mud, it is the same, if you have seen the pictures of the greek beaches. It is completely water repellant, it is like stone.”
“So we are sitting in a bowl of pine needles and red mud and what is going to happen if it rains more than 30 to 40 cm’s? which is predicted to happen…the school will be gone and homes will be gone, electricity will be gone, the drains will be flooded, we’re talking about … a disaster you will read about in major publications as a warning.”
Yet, Plitman highlighted another concern, the prediction of 200,000 refugees to the area.
Thus, adding another layer of difficulty to the unarmed camp.
Plitman is asking the global community to lend a helping hand through his Go Fund Me Page dedicated to aiding the families.
“With this GoFundMe (page) we are trying to be able to react a little more quickly,” he said.
“While I am incredibly grateful for the people that are donating money, it is not going to be sufficient unless we far exceed our fundraising goals, we are not going to be able to take care of all the problems but I think will be able to protect the food and our most core resources.”
“But that’s just for the immediate emergency in front of my face that I’m trying to react too.”
Plitman has raised over $6,900 of his $8,000 goal in one month.
If you wish to help, visit the GoFundMe page HERE.