An 82-year-old woman in Idomeni, Greece, has become known as the “mama” of many refugees.
Welcoming refugees into her house on a daily basis, Panagiota Vasileiadou provides food and shelter to people who have fled their country, and are now desperate for a place to stay. Having lost her own home during World War II, Vasileiadou explained that her house was burned down and her family was left with nothing but the nightgowns they were wearing at the time. “Five children. No clothes. Nothing,” she said.
Vasileiadou initially began helping refugees by giving out food to those passing by, but then went on to open her home to five of them. Going through her old age on a pension of approximately $500, the old woman still manages to provide for the displaced people who need her help, and she cooks for them on a daily basis as they bond over meals and chat.
“Enough of this war. People aren’t to blame for anything,” the kind-hearted lady says.
“I thank her so much and she represents what Greece stands for,” says one refugee, Baraa from Iraq.
Although Vasileiadou and the refugees do not share a common language, the elderly woman makes sure she keeps her guests comfortable, while making hugs, kisses and laughter their mode of communication.
With the ongoing refugee crisis, the world needs people like Vasileiadou who are ready to help others regardless of nationality or religion, in contrast to some of our GOP presidential candidates who are determined to divide people based on the color of their skin.