My name is Eva Moula. I was born and raised in Thessaly. I migrated to Australia leaving behind all my relatives and friends.
The only person of mine (of all those I left behind) that I could have by my side would be Babis S., who was born in Prahran, Melbourne, but returned early to Greece, to my native country.
The last message I received was from Babi on September 7 at 11.35am Melbourne time (4.35am Greek time): “We are drowning”. And then silence.
Agony and despair still haunt me.
On the following day, September 8 at 3.01pm, I received his message: “We are safe.” Babis and other relatives and friends of mine were in the flooded villages of Karditsa, Trikala, Larissa, and Volos. Who was I thinking of first? Who should I contact first?
My people are safe now, but Babis lost his entire estate.
Only taking into account the total destruction of his business, he was characterized as the first in damages in the whole of Thessaly by their Panhellenic association.
Apart from flooded houses, other relatives and friends of mine also lost many other things. Like countless other Thessalians, after all.
So, is it enough to calm my anxiety and my despair just because my people and all the people of my country are safe? Because they didn’t drown?
My anxiety and my despair will stop when, as a sign of solidarity, in these dramatic moments that Thessaly is experiencing, we manage to offer our fellow flood victims in any way we can, anything we can. All these people of Thessaly, our people, and not just my people, need our support. And how will this happen?
How we can contribute humanitarian aid.
Firstly, on my behalf, I thank the Association of Elassonas and surroundings.
“NIKOTSARAS” and especially Ms Belagia, who did not focus only on the association’s fundraising but with her unceasing zeal and sensitivity has organized a call to Greek-Australian associations in Melbourne for a joint meeting with the aim of organizing a community fundraiser on Saturday 23 September at 2pm at NIKOTSARA HQ, 382 Haughton Rd, Clayton.
I wholeheartedly hope that her initiatives bear fruit, with the massive support of all of us.
I would also like to thank the Australian Greek Orthodox Archdiocese which, as always and unceasingly, is on the side of the Greeks (and not only) who are in need of help.
Those who wish to contribute private financial aid can first approach friends or acquaintances, who have their own flood-affected people in Thessaly and ask them if there are ways for their help to reach these people without intermediaries.
The Government has also opened an account.
Private financial assistance can also be offered if someone researches thoroughly, online, about Non-Profit Organizations that exist in Trikala, Karditsa, Larissa, and Volos. I draw your attention to finding information on how these organizations cooperate with organizations of a local nature, such as for example the Labor Centers of the respective cities. At least this finding is the assurance that these NGOs are completely legal. Their websites and Facebook profiles are available online. You can also contact local organizations in these cities. Find all the information online.
Because of our transatlantic distance, we are unable to send them our aid in goods. “Don’t send me financial aid,” Babis told me.
“Please send me a pot and a pan so that I can have them from the city where I was born.” You see his house was also destroyed and he lost many other possessions. He has neither pots nor pans anymore. “Brother,” I replied, “I will have to pay four times more money to send them to you than the purchase price”.
These are my people. These are our people. Modest and proud. These are my people. These are our people. Landlords who refuse to become beggars.
So, let’s be the people that can offer them the pots and the pans, the bread and the butter, in which way that we can manage.
Together we can! To give these people neither their estate nor their life, as it was before, back but the hope to fight because they will know that we are by their side. They are not alone.