June 24, 2020
A 9-year-old girl collapsed inside a bakery beginning of the week and the incident brought to light a tragedy, very possible one of the many currently on the island of Rhodes and in other touristic destinations: unemployment, meager state aid, impoverished and starving people.
With a few coins in her wallet, the mother took the girl to the bakery to buy her a bread bun, a small, simple something just to trick her daughter’s hunger.
While they were standing queue the girl fainted. she had nothing to eat for several hours.
The incident revealed the family drama. The single mother of 9-year-old twin girls is a hotel worker without work. With the majority of hotels on the island still closed due to the pandemic restrictions, the mother has spent long ago the 800-euro state aid given in April to those affected by the lockdown.
The mother is looking for a job to raise her two kids but chances are slim as tourism arrivals are uncertain and many hoteliers may not open their facilities this summer. Even if they do, it is quite unclear how many employees they will hire.
“Unfortunately, this story is one of many unfolding behind closed doors for people who are out of work, with tourists to remain away, with most seasonal businesses closed and the future being black,” notes local newspaper dimokratiki.
After the incident became known on the island, a local charity rushed to fill the refrigerator and the pantry of the family.
Charity Association “Agia Sofia” immediately responded to the situation and met the family needs for food and other basic necessities.
Speaking to dimokratiki, the ‘Agia Sofia” president Sofia Mania said that the charity will cover the family basic needs for as long as it is necessary.
However, the president stressed that the mother needs a work to support her family on her own.
Mania appeals on local businesses to offer the single mother with the two 9-year-old daughters a work.
“Anyone wishing to help and offer a job to the mother with the two children can contact Ms. Sofia Mania at 6948 460375,” newspaper dimokratiki writes.
Later on Wednesday, the mother spoke to media saying that she hasn’t work since last August.
“We were fired as seasonal workers,” the mother said and appealed to the state to “help all those who are without a job” nowadays. We are jobless.”
It is the second incident of starving people on the island of Rhodes in the last few days. Last Friday, a middle- aged man broke into a restaurant to steal something to eat. Having regretted his deed, he called to police and come and arrest him.
Speaking to Open TV on Wednesday, the president of Rhodes Hotel Employees, Th. Stamoulis described with the darkest colors the economic recession people currently experience on the island due to the closed touristic businesses that give jobs to the majority of the islanders.
“The situation is tragic. People flock outside the Labor Center of Rhodes to sell their belongings … The situation reminds me the one during an occupation. Rhodes is a dead city. Nothing moves outside. Especially at night everything is dead,” Stamoulis stressed.