Since January 2016, more than 42,700 refugees have crossed over from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios and currently, over 2,000 live on the island, awaiting asylum. The Chios Eastern Shore Reponse Team (CESRT) has been involved in the crisis since the beginning and continues to provide both immediate and long term support for both refugees on Chios, and for local people.
Working closely with other actors on the island to provide support in many areas, here is a brief overview of the work CESRT does and the projects they run:
1. Responding to boat arrivals on the island by providing immediate humanitarian care and alerting relevant medical/rescue teams/authorities when necessary.
2. Responding to the needs of refugees on the island through distributions of necessary items (i.e. clothes, shoes, shampoo, washing powder and sun cream).
3. Providing financial, material and personnel support for unaccompanied minors at the local orphanage.
4. Daily distribution of tea at Souda camp
5. Working alongside other organisations and NGOs on the island.
6. Helping locals of Chios: Charities; Churches; people in general need.
7. Running beach cleaning projects to assist the local community in maintaining the natural beauty of the island. Large amounts of boat material collected is then recycled to make bags.
Long term projects:
CESRT Warehouse: The backbone of the CESRT operation, where all the clothing and supplies that arrive are sorted for distribution.
The Language Centre: Providing daily English and Greek lessons to adults
Children's House: A safe, clean and calm space for parents to be with and spend time with their children, away from the camps
Legal Information Clinic: Working with Advocates Abroad and the Refugee Law Clinic, we host weekly clinics to provide refugees with a better understanding of EU law and the asylum process.
In donating to CESRT, you help enable the continuation of all our ongoing projects and keep the great work the team does going. CESRT has been at the frontline of this crisis from Day 1 - please help us to help them.
A little bit about me: My name is Aliena Haig and I will be returning to Chios as a longterm volunteer with CESRT for the summer, after having spent almost 3 weeks in Chios in April. In collecting all the proceeds myself, I can guarantee that the money will go directly to the team and I will keep each of you personally updated on where the money is going and how it is helping - please just provide me with an email address to do so! Initial proceeds will pay the rent for the language centre and the warehouse, as well as towards the purchasing of new tents that are urgently needed at Souda camp.