Weʼve raised £775 to help me support refugees in Ritsona and Oinofyta camps
- London, United Kingdom
- International volunteering
- Time left
- Funded on Saturday, 30th September 2017
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This time last year we were glued to our tv sets gasping in horror as body after body was pulled from the Mediterranean. Now, with the refugee crisis fading from our newsreels, it seems to be fading from our minds as well. But hundreds of thousands of displaced people are still out there, and I have decided to go and do what I can to help.
At Ritsona refugee camp in Greece, around 750 refugees live in ISO boxes. Around 1/3 of these are children under the age of 12. Down the road at Oinofyta, a further 500 live in a disused warehouse. These sites are managed by the Greek airforce and supported by various NGOs. They were not designed for this and fall woefully short of anything approaching home. There is often insufficient water for drinking and bathing, Toilets overflow. There is not enough space. Many families there were torn apart when borders closed and now find themselves trapped on one side, unable to reunite with their loved ones.
Yet out of this nightmare, the camp residents, along with the NGOs who work so tirelessly to support them, are building infrastructure. There are basic education programs being set up, there are youth projects. I've heard that at Ritsona there is even a restaurant run by the displaced - it's called 'Cafe Rits', and I'm told they make the best falafel around.
It is a precarious situation, and the NGOs who assist are doing everything they can to make it just that little bit more bearable. They are constantly searching for money, resources, volunteers. I don't have money, so I'm giving time. I've quit my job and I'm going to spend two and a half months in the camps, working on the English Language program that's already up and running. I'm excited to be able to give what I have - teaching experience and knowledge.
I need some help getting there though, and I'd like to be able to contribute concretely as well. Winter is on the way, and while I don't dispute the long term value of the language knowledge I can share, I am sure there are more pressing short term needs as well.
I'd like to raise £300 towards getting me there and paying my accommodation, and match it with £300 for whatever is needed in the camps. I'm advised that needs change quickly, so I can't say exactly what this will be, but I imagine that as we head towards the cold season it may be clothing and blankets. It could also be school, art or music supplies, or foods which aren't readily available.
If the target is not reached, I will divide whatever is raised down the middle, with half on helping me get/stay there and half on stuff for the camps. If the target is exceeded, of course everything over the target goes to what's needed in the camps.
Please help, even if it's just with a few pounds. Let me show that we haven't forgotten them, and that we won't.
- 6 months ago
Katy Hughes6 months ago
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and emotional at the donations which have come in. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, your incredible generosity has got us over halfway in less than 24 hours!
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Katy Hughes started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Sep 28, 2017
Sep 27, 2017
All my love, Mum
Sep 16, 2017
Good luck Katie, Greece is always calling you one way or another.
Sep 16, 2017
Sorry we have missed so many celebrations (and time in general) together over the last few years. Come visit soon. Tis a great thing you're doing. Lots of love x
Sep 12, 2017
Wishing you all the best x
Sep 5, 2017
Good luck 💚
Sep 2, 2017
So proud of you!
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