and we are happy to look back on 2018 as a year of many exciting developments for Movement On The Ground that will have a great impact in 2019. We are grateful for all the help and support we got from our followers that helped us carry out our mission for another year on Lesvos and in the Netherlands.
This year brought many projects and campaigns, especially on Lesvos. The two most successful campaigns we held this year were the Big Winter Donation campaign and The Orange Bracelet campaign.
Through the winter donation campaign, we were able to fill up three 40-acre trucks full of winter jackets and shoes. With your help, residents on Lesvos will be happy and warm this winter. Our orange bracelet campaign was also a success! We raised enough money to initiate even more projects on Lesvos, so thanks to everyone who supported us by purchasing a bracelet!
We held the biggest annual Christmas tournament on Lesvos in 3 years! For the very first time, the Greek community joined us, and this is only the beginning of a good relationship between the two communities. This was a great accomplishment for us!
As the tournament came to an end, children from both communities got a Christmas gift from Santa! A special thanks to Spanos, an incredible team member On The Ground, who was our Santa for the day!
Other exciting things we did was build a new website and create a volunteer app. With the new website, you can expect to read up-to-date stories and articles about our activities on Lesvos. In addition, features such as making donations and applying to become a volunteer have become easily accessible. We now have a contact form where, depending on the topic of your message, you can email the right person. That way, our response rates are higher, and your questions can be easily answered.
An important accomplishment we had this year was our increasing presence on the Olive Grove, where people had fled camp Moria for safety and survival. We are happy to say that we have finished building Olive Grove south. In addition, we now have three Digital Learning Lab classes in all three campUS’s that we are active in; Kara Tepe, Moria and Olive Grove.
This year also brought fascinating learning opportunities for our organization as we had the privilege of doing public speeches: TEDx talk, ACT talk, and several other public speeches. In addition, we have been featured in several newspaper articles such as BBC’s The Boss Series, de Volkskrant, The Guardian, ZDF, and NOS.
2018 was a year we initiated one of our favorite and most impactful projects in the Netherlands;the Movement Hotel. This one-year pop-up project showed us how big of a difference we can make when we take the concept of “from Refugee to Employee” and turn it to action! The project not only helped new residents become familiar with the Dutch culture and the Dutch working habits, it also helped fill the gaps of staff-shortages in various fields of work.
With the opening of the hotel, came new opportunities for residents to begin their journey as employees in their new home country. Having the opportunity to earn money through working allowed new residents to feel confident and respected once again.
We are working super hard to continue this project in the coming year, for further updates on this project, as well as our other projects, keep an eye out for our Instagram or Facebook posts!
Of course, this year could not have been possible without the tremendous support of our network of supporters. We would like to thank every single one of you who ‘moved’ with us to help those in need. On behalf of the communities we support, and the entire Movement On The Ground team- a big thank you!
Any contribution helps us in our mission to create a more dignified and innovative response to the refugee crisis.