On the beautiful -yet at the moment cold- islands of Greece, refugees are stuck. Waiting for governments and organizations to act, they try to survive the winter.
Can you chip in, and help them to survive winter?
Here's how it is at Kos, Greece: Near the refugee camp of UNHCR, volunteer organizations came across refugees, most of Pakistani descent. A lot of them fled, because their beliefs (mostly Christian) and / or their orientation brought them in immediate danger in (and around) their beloved homeland. In the UNHCR camp (known as the 'hotspot' over there), there was no room for them. In damaged buildings (the locations known as 'Annex') and tents these (about 300, mostly) men hope to survive the winter. And do hope they will be allowed to go to a safe place.
When they were found, they were alone. Cold, mostly on flip flops and in summer clothes, hungry and lonely. They did get some food at the hotspot. The refugees asked the volunteers to please come along once a week, so they would know and feel that at least people knew they were there... From then on, they have been given incredible support by the volunteers. One of the volunteers, Renata Papakosta, asked me in November '16 to help raising money for shoes. We started a successful crowd-funding - and now, thanks to all the incredible supporters and volunteers (both from Kos, Nisyros and all kinds of places), 'our' refugees all have shoes!
Now that the shoes are so beautifully taken care of (thanks so much, lovely people, for helping!) 's time to proceed with a new crowd-fund, to address the other basic needs. Basics like food, hot water, cooking facilities. Legal aid. And many other issues that require attention, including facilities and supplies for personal hygiene and health and charging cables for mobile phones.
What can I do?
- You can chip in euro's, whether it be 10, 25 or 50 - or more, or less: everything is helpful and very welcome. When you help them for 50 or more, you will receive a song, sung with love, by the refugees.
- You can also deposit your donation directly to the previously released NL19 ASNB 0879 7235 99 (on account of G.Kramer, Zwolle, the Netherlands), stating 'Refugees on Kos'.
- Or through the simultaneous Dutch crowd-funding.
- And of course: by sharing this action in your network!
Thank you so much for joining us in making the world a bit more beautiful and caring!
If you want to know more, you can read more about the situation and the actions taken, underneath:
Tell me more about the crowd-fund at the end of 2016!
Most refugees only had flip-flops to walk on, and no money to buy shoes, while winter was coming. So many kind people were willing to chip in €15 (the amount, necessary for a good pair of warm shoes -with thanks to a local entrepreneur), and so many (from all over the world) for (much) more - that enough shoes could be bought (and even some clothing). Wow!
Who are helping over there?
A warm group of people, including Renata Papakosta, along with Nisyros Supports Refugees (NSR) and several volunteers and former-volunteers - both of the Greek islands and internationally. The organization 'Samaritans' has provided tents. Refugees themselves also do what they can. And: if you want to, you can help them too, over there! You can help as a volunteer, give an amount (everything is welcome!) Or share this post!
Could I help as a volunteer?
Yes, you are very welcome!
You can help over there, on Kos. Or you can help by joining the crowd-fund-campaign-team. For the first: incredibly welcome! Please contact Renata - easiest via facebook - or leave a message here. For help on the campaign (very welcome too), please contact me (Grytsje - also via facebook) or, again, leave a message here.
What is needed most at this moment?
Food, like rice, milk, tea, cooking oil ,sugar, supplements. Hot water. Cooking facilities. Shower facilities (to be used without electricity - which is not allowed there for safety reasons). Oils, body cream and hair oil and other products for dried-out-skins. Products and supplies for personal hygiene and health. Legal aid. Charging Cables. More...
Contributions: An estimated € 2,500 would help fulfill most needs, for the time being. Hopefully the situation changes, and international governments take responsibility for a proper treatment for refugees, respecting their rights.
The action continues to run for as long as it is needed and as long as we can keep on doing this.
Can I send stuff?
Yes, you can. I considering giving money as the quickest and easiest way of helping. So that is what I choose to do. It saves time, space and shipping costs. Yet if you do want to send out a parcel of good helpful supplies: wonderful, do contact the facebook group of Nisyros Supports Refugees to request more information.
How is the money getting there? Is all money flowing to the refugees?
Yes - everything but the (low) costs of the crowd-funding-platforms. For some bank charges and Visa / PayPal costs. The platforms have been chosen for the lowest commissions and ongoing access.
My family has enjoyed Renata Papakosta's as our host in the summer of 2016. Renata is the organizer and volunteer that asked me to help with the crowd-funding. I came to know her, as a warm, powerful, reliable, humorous, strong woman. She does a lot. Including supporting refugees, together with others, on Kos and Nisyros. Through the hard work, passion and cooperation there, the messages and images that I received, the contacts with the refugees and other volunteers we both got confirmed over and over, how reliable and effectively we work together, directing every penny to the benefit of the refugees.
Why are there two crowd-funding actions?
This is an international campaign. Which requires an English crowd-funding with ability to make international payments, on the lowest costs possible. And also a Dutch campaign (with local paying platforms, like iDeal) since that's where I, Grytsje, live.
Links to organizations and actions: