Umer is a young Pakistani who arrived in Greece two years ago. In two years time, he became an active member of the local community, supporting people in need and creating strong links with a lot of people in the city.
He was first living in the streets of Thessaloniki, and during that period he was going to Alkyone, the refugee day centre run by the Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki. That’s how he ended up to know and collaborate with Oikopolis social place. At oikopolis, activists were trying to fill the gap when Alkyone closed during Christmas by bringing cooked food as well as other supplies to homeless and refugees. They also welcomed the refugees to Oikopolis the social place, where the volunteers organised activities as well as Greek lessons and games.
By that time, Umer already understood the importance of solidarity and chose to be part of it. He generously started giving some of his time to help the others by doing things like cooking once per week for homeless or disadvantaged Greek people, distributing clothes and food for people in need.
Since almost two years now, he is participating in many other social activities like going with other volunteers from Oikopolis to some markets in Thessaloniki on Saturdays to get the leftover fruits and vegetables that they are later using to cook for the solidarity meals. When the international volunteers’ project “Soul food kitchen” has been hosted by Oikopolis almost the whole year 2018, Umer came to help whenever he could to have every day up to 600 meals.
In 2018 and 2019 Umer took also part in the long preparation of the Greenwave festival organized every year by The Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki.
Using his knowledge of the Greek language he also became an interpreter and helped with translation, thereby facilitating the communication between volunteers and homeless refugees. He finally found a job and despite being more busy still found time to help people in need and giving whatever he could to the community and to the citizens of Thessaloniki.
Unfairly, he is now risking to be sent back to his country as his asylum claimed has been rejected. As you can understand, Umer doesn’t just live in Thessaloniki, he is also an active help for people and solidarity organisations. During the two years that he has been in Greece, Umer dedicated his time to help the others, he has been actively learning Greek and integrated himself to the local community.
For all these reasons, a lot of people are now fighting for his right to stay in Greece. All the people that have met him, working and living everyday side by side, are now stepping up to support him and save his future.
In order to offer him the chance to continue his life in Greece, they launched the campaign Save Umer’s Future. Supporting the campaign everyone can help him the same way he helped many peoples.
A Facebook page has been created in order to share the campaign: https://www.facebook.com/SaveUmersFuture/
If you want to be part of it, here are some things that you could do:
- Support the campaign through AVAAZ: https://bit.ly/2v5uU34
- You can be photographed holding the SAVE UMER’s FUTURE poster for a clip: They are taking pictures of as many as possible people with the campaign poster to bring them together in a short video clip.
Where and when: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 17:30-21:00, Saturday 12:00-13:30 / 16:00-20:00 Oikopolis, Ptolemaion 29A/5th floor. For any further information, you can send a message on the Facebook page.
Together we can do everything. Together we will Save Umer’s Future.