Kara Tepe in its physical form is soon no more but its spirit lives on.

"This current reality is heart wrenching to swallow but even more so for the people of Kara Tepe to endure."

It started on Saturday morning. The first actions taken in the closure of the beloved Kara Tepe Hospitality Centre for the most vulnerable refugees. Fast forward to today, close to 200 residents of the Kara Tepe community now find themselves in RIC Lesvos…

This current reality is heart wrenching to swallow but even more so for the people of Kara Tepe to endure. Over the past days, we have done everything within our capacity to stand with and for them. We did not facilitate the transfer of these people, nor will we play a role in the days to follow. But we have been and will continue to be there. To listen. To guide. To comfort. 

The journey that will forever be Kara Tepe, began five years ago. A journey with an unknown destination but with a clear vision: a safe, healing and dignified environment for very vulnerable people on their plight.

For us, it all started with the Giving Food Truck. A mobile kitchen to enable a dignified accessibility and preparation of food for the Kara Tepe residents. It was our first project in Kara Tepe and allowed us again to realise that if you listen, learn and connect with the community, you can together grow and create beautiful things.

Over the years, Kara Tepe truly evolved into an inclusive space where people on the move could feel a real sense of dignity again. Despite being a place of transition – where in many instances, people found themselves in limbo for far too long – Kara Tepe embodied the spirit of humanity and real refugee hospitality. A place where children could attend classes, access sports and even be entertained through cinema, arts and crafts. A place where parents could develop their digital literacy skills, select their own clothing and work in the community garden. A place where all organisations and actors worked in harmony towards a collective vision. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the residents came first. 

While Kara Tepe in its physical form is soon no more, the spirit of Kara Tepe lives on. It will forever stand for what refugee hospitality should be. We want to thank all who have given so much to Kara Tepe. First and foremost, the resilient community. Site management. Fellow organisations. The local community. The Movement On the Ground team and all the volunteers from around the world. We will continue to keep the spirit of Kara Tepe alive in our hearts. Thank you, chokran, teshekur, Eufcharisto.

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