Editor’s Note: Kelli Hogan, a marketing manager at Google, was a member of the 12-person NetHope Team K deployment to Greece and its official mission storyteller.
Kavala, Greece — A group of hopeful refugees gather around a NetHope team scouting a location for a new access point. “Will we have Wi-Fi today?” asks Salha and Ali (second and third from right in the above picture). Their English is perfect and their anticipation is palpable. After explaining our objective for connecting the site in Kavala, Ali invites me to sit down with them in their room.
Ali and Salha are brother and sister. The two siblings left Aleppo with their children, and their respective spouses, Fahima and Hamed, in 2016. The families are Kurdish, and for several years, their town was unaffected by the civil war, but as soon as their homes were vulnerable, they decided to leave. The two families traveled for 10 days through Turkey, and then migrated onward to Greece.
Because they arrived after March 2016, when the EU and Turkey struck a deal attempting to stem the flow of migrants, the two families aren’t sure what the future holds for them. The new construction at Kavala camp is the best accommodation they have had yet, so if they must wait, they prefer to do it here. They also prefer to stay together as a big family. Ali, a pharmacist, is helping Salha and Hamed care for their eight-year-old son Rami, who has epilepsy.
Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.