Mobile Info Team: Our Achievements in April

Dear Gene Keys Society,
As the summer approaches, we continue to see a wide variety of questions being asked by refugees here in Greece including how to travel as a refugee, what support is available for ex-translators of European forces and how the asylum process works in general. Our volunteers have been busy providing individual support to these people as well as taking on a fundraising challenge to walk 1000km!
Supporting Afghan translators of European armies who had to flee because they received death threats.
Abdul Malik* worked as a translator for the German army in Afghanistan for more than a decade. Because of his job he received consistent death threats from the Taliban towards him and his family. He reported these threats to his supervisors but they didn’t consider it a serious threat. In the end, Abdul Malik, together with his wife and his little children, had to rapidly flee the country when he found out the Taliban were on their way to his house to kill him and his family. After a flight of many months, he and his family are now in Greece.
Musa* had a similar fate. He worked as a translator for the French forces in Afghanistan and had to flee because his and his family’s lives were in danger because of his work. He also arrived in Greece after a long and difficult journey. Along his journey, he had to stop sometimes for a month in order to find temporary work to be able to send some money to his family so they can continue to sustain themselves in Afghanistan. He has been homeless here in Greece since his arrival in January.
Both of them, Musa and Abdul Malik reached out to the Mobile Info Team and asked for help. MIT caseworkers Paul and Michael took their cases. After extensive research, Paul was able to make an application to the French Ministry of Armies for Musa to be allowed access to French territory, because of his service with the French army. Despite raising interest on the matter of former Afghani interpreters in France, the struggle to have access to the relevant procedures is still very real.

Michael, who is assisting Abdul Malik and his family, got in contact with multiple German ministries to assess the situation. Unfortunately, Germany is overwhelmingly denying responsibility for former employees of the German army in Afghanistan who are persecuted because of their job. Michael is now assisting the family to make a visa application on special grounds, to correct the huge injustice that Abdul Malik and his family have had to endure and to make sure that hopefully the German state will take responsibility and help the family.

Picture: Resolute Support Media
*All names changed for privacy reasons.

 

Informing recognized refugees in Greece about their ability to travel

A lot of recognized refugees in Greece are waiting eagerly to receive their travel documents and regain their ability to travel. The majority are separated from broader family members and friends that reside in other countries, who they want to see again after years of only being able to communicate through phone and social media. As questions about which countries visas are needed frequently reached us on Facebook and our hotline, we decided to create an info material about it.
Through our research, we also realized that even if a refugee with his travel document can travel visa-free to a country, there are still conditions that need to be met. If people fail to comply, they might be sent back to Greece. To avoid this situation, and to clarify other issues and questions, we put info material on our webpage and made a post about it on our Facebook page. The material was widely spread and hopefully leads to more clarity and less confusion on this issue.

Asylum workshop for long term volunteers

End of April, MIT co-founder Michael together with MIT long term caseworker Paul held an info session, this time not for asylum seekers and refugees, but for volunteers. MIT has already done this in the past but is now continuing this activity again, because we think that it is very important that volunteers who are meeting and speaking with asylum seekers every day understand at least the basics of the legal procedures in Greece, as well also as their limitations in answering certain questions and have an understanding about to whom they can refer questions and requests. Nearly 30 long-term volunteers from different organizations were present in the 2-hour workshop.

Mobile Info Team Volunteers Walk 1000 km

Mobile Info Team volunteers, past and present, are coming together to walk 1000 km in one month. By taking on this challenge, our aim is to raise money to continue the important work of Mobile Info Team, a group of committed volunteers supporting refugees in Greece with information and individual support on the asylum process and family reunification. Each volunteer will add to the overall target and will walk at least 5 km at a time. We will share updates on how far we have walked so far as well as pictures of where we have walked.

Find out more about us

If you want to know more about what we do, see pictures from our work or have a look at our team, please go to our website:

 

 

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