Dear friends and family
We appreciate you taking some time to check out our cause, and for considering making a contribution towards our fundraising goal.
Who we are
Starfish Foundation is a Greek NGO based on the island of Lesvos. We work to improve the lives of refugees and to support the local community. Starfish was established in 2015 as a response to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees on the island, mostly fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Starfish Foundation was born from this humanitarian crisis.
What’s happening in Lesvos now
Lesvos lies just 6 km from Turkey. Arrivals soared in summer/autumn 2015 but refugees could transit through Lesvos in a few days, onwards to Germany, Sweden and elsewhere. In March 2016 the EU struck a deal with Turkey to stem the flows and the borders closed. Large numbers of refugees are now contained in Greece/Lesvos (and other Aegean islands) while their asylum applications are processed (slowly).
Another surge in arrivals in recent months has created massive overcrowding and deteriorating conditions at the island’s main camp (Moria). Designed for a maximum capacity of 3,000, it’s now hosting around 14,500 refugees. For many families and children, ‘home’ is a lightweight summer tent. Winter on the island can be harsh, meaning the current miserable conditions will worsen.
Vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors (under 18s travelling without family) need extra support. The ‘safe’ section within the camp, designed to host the most vulnerable refugees, is full and more than 500 unaccompanied minors currently live outside the section. Three-quarters of the children in Moria are under 12 years old, their mental health of great concern. Many already display signs of depression, anxiety and self-harm, likely to worsen during the winter months.
Beauty and the beast – how you can support us
Our 9-seater minivan, the Beast, is used as a shuttle service between Mytilene (the island’s capital) and Moria camp (around 10 km away). The Beast (and Nikos, our wonderful local driver) transports unaccompanied minors daily to their medical and asylum application appointments. With the recent big increase in arrivals in Moria, and with arrivals likely to continue through the winter, we’re committed to keeping this transport service going to meet current and anticipated levels of need.
How can you support us? The Beast is expensive to run and requires regular maintenance. Could you chip in with a donation towards the cost of running this service – and help us make sure that unaccompanied minors can reach medical and other necessary appointments safely?
Starfish Foundation will donate the money raised through this Go Get Funding account to this project to benefit unaccompanied minors on Lesvos. We have prioritised this project to direct donations to support some of the most vulnerable refugees on the island.
Every donation is valuable to us and means that we can help more children and unaccompanied minors on the island of Lesvos. We’ll keep this fundraising page open to reach as many people as possible who may want to support this project.
We’d love to tell you more about us and what we do. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the Starfish Foundation and our many projects!
Thank you for caring about our work.
Αστερίας | Starfish Foundation