Pikpa camp, run by the Lesbos solidarity collective, is a camp for vulnerable refugees: people with medical conditions, people with disabilities and people who might be at risk, such as LGTB people or lone women with children. The camp was opened 3,5 years ago and since then thousands of people have come through.
“The camp is self-organized, this means it is run by the volunteers and the residents who stay here. We work together as a collective to make sure the place is clean, safe and well kept. It works as a community. Since the start of the summer thousands of refugees have passed through, A few days prior to the EU Turkey deal the aim of the mayor of Lesbos was to empty the island of refugees. Since the 20th of March we are faced with closure, which has to be seen in the context of the closure of all open structures and transferring people to closed detention facilities. This is obviously something we reject. This is clearly not in the interest of our residents and not in the interest of any future refugee arrivals. There are over 50,000 people on the mainland now, living in substandard squalid conditions that are not even good enough for people in healthy conditions, let alone for people with serious medical conditions and people with disabilities”. Natascha (volunteer)
Currently 77 refugees live in Pipka. Among them many children.
A Pakistani refugee making handbags out of life vests.
Abdelazziz — Lawyer, Syria
“We left Raqqa over two years ago when IS took over the city. We lived as refugees in different cities in Syria before we entered Turkey. Turkey was really bad. Refugees are economically exploited and socially discriminated against. This is why we decided to come to Europe. We arrived 30 days ago on Lesbos. First we lived in Moria camp when it was still run by NGOs and volunteers. After my wife gave birth to our sixth child we were transferred to Pipka. We were supposed to have an asylum interview on the 15th of March but it was cancelled. We don’t know what will happen now and where we will have to go when Pipka closes. Being sent back means death to us”.
“Pikpa is a place of tranquility, a place of community. A place where people get the opportunity to live in dignity. Now is a time of uncertainty for all. We are yet to see exactly what will happen. Obviously the EU Turkey deal has started, but it started without a system being in place, without the human resources being on the ground and without an adequate asylum system working. There is uncertainty about everything. What will happen to our residents if we have to close down? Everything is up in the air”. Natascha (volunteer)
To support Pikpa sign the petition against closing down the camp