Song and dance
Seeing someone let loose on the dance floor will always prompt a smile. And on Samos, Zervou camp residents came together for a night of ear-to-ear grins with people from all over the Middle East and Africa showcasing their home country’s songs and moves. Music and dance have a way of transcending borders and connecting people, and that’s just what this evening was about.
Saying goodbye to Azim
“My friends are the ones who told me to be patient, they said that one day this situation will end.” For Azim, that day has been three years in the making. And while he’s eager for the next chapter of his life, he’s leaving the refugee camp on Lesvos with a heavy heart. We’re incredibly thankful for the people like Azim who have spent their time in camp helping make it a better place for others.
Connection through sports
“Hey, can you please lend me onions so I can cook?” Alhassan says that’s something he’s only heard recently in RIC Lesvos, since the camp football tournament finished. “After the competition, everyone is feeling lively, connected and free to meet without hesitation,” he says.
COA-collaboration in Budel
For the first time, we’re now working inside a refugee reception centre in the Netherlands. The pilot programme with COA (the Netherlands’ refugee reception service) started in July, inside Reception Centre Budel – the country’s second-largest facility.
“We now are engaging with the community and other parties involved to understand the needs, what the challenges are and seeing how we can work together.” ~ Global CampUs representative, Ali Shams Eddin.
Since the start of the pilot project, we managed to have a sizeable impact on the hosted and hosting community and our collaboration with COA is getting stronger by the week. We will dedicate a special update on this soon since there’s much more to share in the coming weeks.
Residents create a garden for all
Gardening’s impact on mental health has recently made headlines worldwide, with countless studies highlighting how time spent in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and trauma while increasing happiness. Expert in agriculture and community volunteer Abdul Fatah and a team got their hands dirty to create a green space for all camp residents to relax in.
Royal Visit Shelters Athens
We had the honour to have both his Majesty King Willem-Alexander and her Majesty Queen Maxima visit our UnAccompanied Minors shelters during their state visit to Greece.
The visit was a beautiful moment for the children and a recognition of the hard work of the past years of the dedicated staff who are putting the children’s rights at the centre of the support system on a daily bases.
The visit at the same time is a welcome acknowledgement for all the people who have contributed to our organization over the past 7 years and a great motivation to continue our global mission to dignify refugee reception for all people who are forced to flee.
“Working with Movement is like going to see the doctor,” said Ahmed, who has been running the maintenance team on Chios for 10 months. Ahmed is from Somalia, and since he arrived on the Aegean island, he’s been leading a team of six who strives to make the camp a better place.
As of this Summer, we have become a contract partner with NIDOS – the national guardianship institution for unaccompanied and separated children in The Netherlands – taking responsibility for the 13 UAM in Amsterdam.
“We put out a call earlier this year, and Movement on the Ground responded. We know their work in Greece and welcome their capacity. We look forward to an impactful and long-term relationship in the Netherlands as it’s very much needed.” ~ Jan Murk, Director NIDOS
Since the start of the partnership, we’ve opened three more homes and are aiming to open even more in the future. This also means we’re hiring mentors and social workers.
“The decision to come back was easy,” says Abi who is helping in Lesvos for the second time in a year. “I didn’t think twice about it, I just knew, and there was still a need for volunteers, so it was a no-brainer.”
“Each day I do lots of little tasks that individually may seem unimportant but to the camp community, they are vital. It can be as simple as photocopying someone's documents but to them, it’s essential to helping with their asylum process.”
Having worked with other NGOs previously, Abi says the connection at MOTG is what stood out to her. “The bond Movement has between camp residents, community volunteers, and visiting volunteers is unlike anywhere else. You will always have a friend here and never be lonely with this organisation.”
“Working together with the community is my happy place,” says Veerle, who has returned to Samos for a six-month internship in Zervou camp – teaching residents to paint. “We have such a good team, it feels like a little family.
“Some residents really want to have art in their future, so we’re trying to prepare them for that. We’re teaching the basics of painting but also informing people about different options for art schools and looking at ways to connect them.”
So far, they’ve worked alongside camp residents to design and paint the outside of the laundry, women's centre, walls lining the football pitch and benches made by the MOTG technical team.
Any contribution helps us in our mission to provide a dignified, innovative and sustainable response to the refugee crisis that benefits both refugees and host populations.
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