A message about COVID-19

The refugee crisis on Lesvos and Samos has never been fiercer than at the beginning of this year. And then came the coronavirus...

The already vulnerable refugee populations on Lesvos and Samos are now left unable to self-isolate and in desperate need of hygiene products amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

As one of the few organisations granted permission to continue our work in the camps during this time, we now need your support and donations to get hygiene products to those in desperate need. We’ve banded together to help our local vulnerable communities and now we need to step up and do the same for our fellow humans in the Greek refugee camps. 



It is clear that we are facing defying times. Currently, an overwhelming amount of news, stories and images in relation to COVID-19 – better known as the coronavirus – is dominating out timelines.

We are confined in our agency, worried about our livelihoods, concerned about our families and friends and the impact this virus is having on the most vulnerable groups within our societies. Put simply, we are living in very uncertain times.

It can feel challenging to keep spirits up and show our smiles right now, but at Movement On The Ground, we believe that positivity and a proactive approach got us through the most difficult days, and it will so now.

With the virus spreading rapidly around the globe, we have been and will continue to closely follow guidelines of heath organisation and the instructions of both the Greek and Dutch governments.

As of last week, we have put in place our “corona procedures”, to ensure we limit contagion to the camps and our people on the ground. Some of our procedures are as follows:    

  • We are educating and informing our residents on the importance of washing their hands and practicing good hygiene habits.
  • In Samos, together with our partners on the ground, we have installed hand sanitizer dispensers in the overcrowded areas with no WASH facilities.
  • We will be distributing food packs to increase the general health practices.
  • We have established two additional foodlines in order to minimise overcrowding in the central foodline inside Moria camp.
  • We have stepped up our waste management program, meaning we are collecting more kilos of waste and disposing of it faster.
  • The wash facilities in our campUs are used by thousands of residents daily and naturally, these facilities become a hotspot for germs to breed and spread. We are therefore taking more time to regularly check and clean our wash units and make sure they are in the best possible state for the residents using them. 

  • We are working closley with our partner NGOs to distribute essential hygiene products.
  • We have been preparing our resident volunteers in both Lesvos and Samos camps for a “Camp to campUs” situation, where they will have to conduct self-management of services and basic needs such as food distribution, waste collection and energy provision, with the remote assistance of MOTG staff.

We are humbled and proud of our resident volunteers and our campUs residents about how they are handling the situation and we know that are capable and ready to take up the responsibility of self-management.

As of March 18th, entry into and out of the Greek refugee camps has been highly restricted for residents and external entities. We now see the refugee population being one of the most vulnerable ones in our society, unable to self-isolate and in desperate needs of basic and medical needs. We are now one of the few organisations granted permission to continue our work in the camps and provide services to this vulnerable population.

Therefore, it is together with the people on the ground, that we hope to continue to rely on your support and donations during this time. We need your help and love more than ever before. Only in solidarity and togetherness will we be able to overcome this…

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