Open door policy

Watch one Greek grandmother’s single-handed mission to help refugee families

Panagiota Vasileiadou of Greece was a refugee child during World War II and knows what it’s like to lose a home. She’s now 82 years old and a host to refugee families fleeing conflict, offering free showers and food for those displaced at the Greek border and shelter for five at a time — all on a pension of just 450 euros, which she spends in full to provide for others.

“Enough with this war,” she said, in a UNHCR video that was picked up by Now This and shared nearly 3 million times. Even though they can’t understand each other, Vasileiadou said she and the families talk and laugh in her home. An Iraqi refugee named Baraa said Vasileiadou “made our lives easier,” adding, “She made the kids happy and said you can come any time, when she heard that their mother was dead.”

At least 10,000 refugees are stuck in a camp at the Greek border.

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