Island of Hope
The Greek island of Lesbos has become one the main entry points to Europe for refugees. More than 500,000 reached the island in 2015.
People fleeing war and poverty, mostly fom Syria but also from countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Morocco, have made their way through Turkey to Greece by sea. The transfer on inflatable dinghies across the Aegean Sea is risky and expensive, the boats are crowded with 40 - 60 people, each one of them has paid between 1.000 and 2.000 USD. If the weather conditions are bad, the refugees may get a discount. Boats often capszize as they reach the shore, many arrive traumatized and sometimes with hypothermia, some did not survive the journey.
While in November 2015 the European Union made a $ 3.2 billion deal with Turkey to reduce the flow of refugees into Europe, volunteers continue to get them out of the water and provide them with basic care.