British actor Orlando Bloom, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador visited a refugee reception center in Gevgelija on the border between FYROM and Greece, on Tuesday, September 29.
Bloom listened to the refugees’ stories about their journeys, concerns and hopes for the future. “These children have travelled through one of the deadliest refugee and migrant routes in the world. I talked to children who endured terrifying journeys, often in extreme weather conditions and for many, walking in the only shoes and clothes they have,” he stated in a news release.
“They are being shuttled from one authority to another, crossing numerous borders, uncertain of the risks ahead. If they arrive safely at their final destination, they still fear an uncertain future. We need to protect and support them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rajae Msefer Berrada, Deputy Representative for UNICEF in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia added that “Europe is facing one of its greatest crises in recent times as people are fleeing the areas of conflicts which are left unresolved. We must provide services in countries where children are on the move, and in countries of origin and destination, for play, healthcare and protection. We must put children’s best interests at the heart of our action and ensure families are kept together throughout their journey. We cannot fail these children.”
The chaotic scenes that took place near the Greece-FYROM border over the last two months have greatly improved. However, a large number of people, including children and women, are not being registered at the border, noted UNICEF. This raises concerns that those who need help may not have access to the services that they need.