Camp to campUs: Transforming RIC Lesvos into a sustainable and safe temporary environment

Projects - Current

The situation

The fires of camp Moria and the following crisis devasted Lesvos, leaving over 12,000 men, women and children displaced yet again. In response, a new temporary camp was built, RIC Lesvos. 

With close to 2,500 people transferred off the island of Lesvos after the fires, the new temporary camp is now home to 8,500 people. The new camp presents clear concerns from location to inadequate infrastructure and lack of stimulating programs.  The most pressing worry, the upcoming winter, with recent rains foreshadadowing the potential disaster ahead. 

Movement On The Ground has taken the decision to work inside this temporary camp, with the vision to transform it into a campUs. A place that is safe and suitable for the upcoming winter, until a longer term solution is determined.

#ByThemWeStand - During this discussion, Charlie Macgregor and Adil Izemrane share the reality of Lesvos. The session is led by The Student Hotel’s Head Connector Lucien van Geffen.

our Vision

Our Camp to campUs philosophy outlines the process of transforming this new temporary camp into a stimulating, sustainable and safe environment for people on the move. A campUs has adequate infrastructure, engaging programs and an active community that treats its temporary living environment with care and respect.

This is a proven philosophy (in Moria camp and Kara Tepe) and ensures a community with a feeling of purpose and ownership. By enabling the talent and skills of residents and involving them in the running of programs, we ensure the development of a safe environment, where frustration, anger and hopelessness are reduced. Programs and activities ensure children are kept happy and entertained. Overall, a feeling of community and safety is created, better for all actors, all round.

Photo: Sarafino Faluzo

How to implement this in RIC Lesvos

Based on this philosophy we hope to implement the following projects and programs in the new temporary RIC Lesvos camp.

    Shelter provisions
    Ensuring every resident in RIC Lesvos has access to a protected, weather-proof shelter with the minimum requirement of elevation, flooring and a tarp. 

    Food lines
    Implementing an efficient queuing system that ensures a fair, safe and dignified distribution of food. Furthermore, reducing overcrowding and wait times consequently preventing the outbreak of fights and violence. 

    Waste management
    To ensure the minimum standard of hygiene and give purpose to community volunteers by involving them in cleaning their living area. The aim is to create a sustainable refugee community not only from a quality of life and health perspective but also environmental. 

    A durable electricity grid that provides each tent with 1,000 watts of energy which allows for a light, charging and heating in each household.

    Sports activation 
    To ensure children, adults and those with special needs, have access to a mentally and physically stimulating program that allows them to bond, exercise and learn valuable life lessons. Helping to increase dignity, improve cross-cultural connections, and reduce stress.

    Educational activities 
    To provide (young) adults with educational activities that provide essential and professional skills needed to re-enter the workforce. 

    Community garden 
    To create garden spaces that ensure a sense of safety, creativity and community amongst people. Furthermore, increasing the provision of food and green spaces. 

    Providing a dual purpose of teaching people wood crafting skills and building practical things for the campUs. 

    Community-based approach 
    Community volunteers are an integral part of the Camp to CampUs philosophy. Refugees – or better referred to as residents – should be actively involved in the daily operations of the campUs. By giving residents control over their living circumstances, they feel a sense of connection towards each other and respect towards their surroundings.

    An effective implementation of the Camp to campUs philosophy in RIC Lesvos requires the support and knowledge of the major international NGOs, such as UNHCR, IRC, IOM and UNICEF. Their support, skills and expertise are essential. Small/local NGOs are also an essential part of achieving this goal and need to be embraced. They are able to carry activities international NGOs cant and don't want to do. 

    Photo: Gijs Wessels

    how can i help?

    To realise all of this in the upcoming period we need the funds to make it happen. You can help us out to support our journey towards dignity for all.
    Make a donation

    Movement On The Ground would not be moving anything if it weren't for the big help of our visiting volunteers. If you have time to spare this winter, lend a helping hand!
    Become a volunteer

    Start your own movement
    Do you share our passion for helping people? Do you want to contribute towards bringing a sense of dignity back to people on the move? 
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    Work together
    Our Camp to CampUS philosophy is a new and innovative approach that aims to revolutionise the current world of humanitarian aid, but we can’t execute this philosophy alone. We’re very proud of our countless past collaborations, but we’re always looking for new partners to help us achieve our goal. We can’t wait to hear from you and see how we can solve this crisis together.
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