We want to bring long-term, sustainable change to the refugee crisis on the Greek islands. But our responsibilities now also include responding to day-to-day challenges and emergencies on our CampUses. We’ve been able to rise to the challenge because of the amazing collaborations we’ve made over the past three years. Here’s a spotlight on one special relationship we’ve developed throughout our journey.
Apart from coming up with great fundraisers, Help Refugee's main work involves facilitating access to aid for grass roots projects that work on the global refugee crisis. They support projects in 9 countries, including Greece.
Our great working relationship is made possible by the fact that we share a lot of the same objectives and vision, in terms of the future of the refugee crisis. Every so often we sit together and set up a unique kind of agreement, outlining an area of interest or theme for us to collaborate on. Together we then determine what we can do to work towards making the situation better on that theme.
We’ve collaborated on issues like energy for the Olive Grove. Help Refugee helped us set up an electrical grid for the area, providing power to 500 people who would otherwise have no heating in their tents. We’ve also made commitments to help children. This year we installed learning centres in the “safe-zone” of Moria - an area reserved for unaccompanied minors - making sure they have the opportunity to engage in social and educational activities. Help Refugee also help fund, important, but not so visible parts of our day-to-day life – like providing funding to make sure our toilet facilities are kept in running order.
Help Refugee has become a key lifeline to us, not just because of the quantity but also the quality of the support they provide. They don’t just help us out with our longer-term vision, but also are there to smooth out unexpected bumps in the road.
Our managing coordinator on the ground, Bart-Jan explains why this is so important for us. “With the responsibility of a site for 500 people, unexpected things can happen on a day-to-day basis. For instance, in case of rain, we may have flooding or electricity issues, for which we need immediate resolution. Help Refugee are who I can call in that situation, they are both fast and flexible.”
With collaborative work like this, we’re confident and hopeful about the future of the refugee crisis on the Greek islands. Together, we know we can make increasing impact on Lesvos and eventually have a greater presence on Samos island too.
For now, we just want to take the opportunity to say thank you to Help Refugee, and their donors, for all the amazing support they provide us.
Any contribution helps us in our mission to create a more dignified and innovative response to the refugee crisis.