“Here, we share so many of our stories back home. But we also share our concerns and how much we long for a decent and safe place where we can shower. To feel healthier especially in a time like Covid-19” – a resident of RIC Lesvos.
One of the most striking moments for us entering the new camp on Lesvos was the lack of sufficient WASH facilities. In the Olive Groves surrounding Moria camp, implementing accessible WASH facilities was an integral part of our Camp to campUs process. Working with partners like Watershed Foundation to try to make hot showers and sufficient amounts of toilets the minimum.
When it was proposed in the new camp to implement a minimum shower system, we knew we wanted to help in making the services as dignified as possible, together with IoM, German Red Cross, Watershed Foundation and Refugee 4 Refugees. The accessibility of the showers first and foremost for women and children. In order to make the process as safe as possible, we knew we needed female community volunteers. They stepped up.
#ByThemWeStand, we promised and it is for them that we strive to do more. Sharing his appreciation, a resident told us: “At least now, we don’t have to go and shower by the sea anymore”. Another lady believes that “this shower space seems safer and more inviting”. The majority were very appreciative of the cleanliness, privacy and safety of these bucket stations knowing the current restrictive circumstances.
We know this solution is the minimum standard of what a dignified living environment entails. That's why we are committed to working with our fellow organisations on the ground and the community themselves to make it better. We are currently in discussion with a number of female residents to get further insights on their showering habits, to be taken into consideration as we work to improve the current system.
Last week, together with the project partners Watershed Foundation and German Red Cross, our team of community volunteers started the preliminary work on a newly assigned area for 36 hot water shower stations. Creating a foundation for the walls of the showers, fencing and entrance doors. The shower containers with built-in heaters are expected at the camp by the end of the month.
This was a call for action from the community and it resonated high. This shower project is a small example of the #CampToCampUs we are longing for. A philosophy that will continue to lead our future moves towards a more dignified, safe and inclusive environment.
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