Greetings from Koutsochero camp, near Larissa, Greece

Few days ago, 49 people from Syria and Iraq, residing in TC Tabanovce for almost one year, were relocated to Greece trough an official Readmission Procedure. Even though the readmission was done voluntarily, upon request of the refugees to be readmitted in Greece in order to access relocation to the EU, and upon acceptance from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there was no timely notice that this will happen.

The refugees that applied for the readmission were notified in the late evening hours that they will be transported to Greece during the early morning, which gave them no time to say proper goodbye to the staff and volunteers working in TC Tabanovce, who were their friends and their support during the 11months spent in the camp. This fast night time action that left no time for proper goodbyes caused mixed feelings of happiness and sorrow in both the staff and volunteers and the refugees. “We are happy that they will have at least some prospects now, accessing relocation in Greece. Something they missed for 11months in Macedonia, time that is complete waste of life. But we are sad that our friends are gone, and even more that we didn’t have time to say proper goodbye.” – stated one of the Volunteers in TC Tabanovce.

The feelings were definitely mutual. Many of the staff and volunteers received messages where their refugee friends were saying goodbye with regret that this was not possible in person, and with hopes of reuniting under better circumstances. Today, LEGIS’ field coordinator, Driton Maliqi, received a video from some of the refugees readmitted in Greece, saying the goodbye they never had the chance to do in person.

“Refugees are part of us, and we are part of them” – stated Driton Maliqi on his facebook post, continuing with expressing best wishes and luck to the people that now reside in the Koutsochero camp, near Larissa, Greece.

Good Luck guys, we will miss you, hope to meet you again, soon!