Can you donate to help improve the lives of refugees in Greece?
Last year I went to the Greek Islands and the humanitarian crisis of refugees risking all to flee horrors at home, for safety abroad. Thousands fled, many died in the sea, families were split apart and traffickers preyed on the vulnerable. Europe has now closed its borders, and perhaps its mind, to the crisis. Over 60,000 refugees are stuck, unable to continue their journeys and unable to go back due to decimation of their homes, conflict and a closed Turkish border.
Local people in groups like Leros Solidarity have made a huge humanitarian effort for many years. They provide food, shelter, and clothing to unaccompanied children, families and adults from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and other war torn countries. They have relied on donations and volunteers along with collaboration with UNHCR, larger NGOs like Save the Children and the Greek government. Through their efforts the basics to maintain life are largely met on Leros, but a stalled life in a camp, going nowhere is souless and damaging to mental health.
The focus now is to provide education for the children, and language, training and other activities for all, as well as helping them integrate into the local community. Who knows how long they will be stuck for? Some of the refugees are teaching and others looking for ways to make life less sterile. Now Leros has the Hub, a centre for activities but they need help and resources.
I am volunteering for the next three weeks with Leros Solidarity doing whatever they need me to do. Music is one means of enriching all our lives. Given the success of ukes for our school children, and the like of Fife Ukulele Orchestra, I am taking some ukuleles with teaching packs for workshops and tuition with adults and children from the camps.
This appeal is through Aegean Solidarity Network (ASN) Team UK, a registered charity of mostly former Leros volunteers, raising funds to support refugees through organisations in Leros including Leros Solidarity and echo100plus. If you can, please donate here to ASN to help them pay for resources and activities, like the ukes, to feed minds, bodies and souls. These are people just like you and I, but going nowhere.
I am self-funding so all your donations will go to help refugees.