Lesvos Refugee Crisis Appeal

Update posted by Ariana Faris On Apr 07, 2016

We are now in Idomeni having spent about 8. Days in Piraeus port where 4000-5000 people have been staying for nearly 6 weeks now . The conditions are extremely difficult with people having had no access to showers for a month, the good news is that a mobile unit with showers has now arrived and our friend Steve Wilson is involved in keeping this facility going for which the women are extremely grateful

Here in Idomeni we are attached to a small NGOs Refugee trauma initiative and have been working with them - yesterday and today with afghan women and with a family in another camp - very challenging to know how to help in a sustainable and ethical way given we are not here for long - mostly what people are asking for is for the borders to be opened and for information from the authorities about what is going to happen as they have now been stuck in these conditions for several weeks ...we have been told that of the almost 15000 people here almost 6000 are children !

Today we ran two mindfulness sessions one with afghan women and one with children in a small tent , despite not knowing how it would be received the women said they felt lighter and the children were totally calm . I have never facilitated mindfulness in such a strange setting, nor been more grateful for the benefits it can bring.


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Update posted by Ariana Faris On Mar 24, 2016

The crisis in Greece has taken a dramatic turn since the EU /Turkey deal completed this weekend. Camps in Lesvos that were being organised and run with assistance of NGOs and volunteers providing essential humanitarian aid have been turned into closed detention centres run by police and army and the NGOS have pulled out unable to support such measures. Most refugees have been forced to leave the island and are now arriving in Athens with far less infrastructure there to support them.


It is a time of turmoil and confusion with much uncertainty as to the ramifications of the Turkey/eu deal. So it is in this climate that I am returning to Greece on Easter Sunday with Jeff my husband We are both psychotherapists and have first responder first aid skills and will be taking medical and first aid equipment with us and funds to provide as much support as we can on the ground. We will be joined by a friend and will be staying for two weeks. If necessary we will move to other parts of the Greek mainland to provide further assistance in some of the other camps that are being set up. Although Julie my sister will not be joining us on this trip we will be particularly looking out for vulnerable women children and babies and providing as much assistance to them as we can.

Many thanks for your generous support and encouragement, your funds will make a huge difference to what we will are able to provide. I will post a link to a blog to continue to update you on our work.

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Wishing you strength for the next few weeks. Thank you for all you continue to do for those in need. Lisa Mansour (Julie’s friend and colleague).

Lisa Mansour

Update posted by Mar 24

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Update posted by Ariana Faris On Dec 29, 2015

You haven't heard from us for a while but we have been busy and just wanted to take the chance to update you on our efforts and plans. In December we were involved in two events in Cardiff speaking about the refugee crisis in Lesvos and our work there: the wonderful Only Menopause Aloud community choir christmas concert raised £650 with tombola, raffle and sale of their cd,s - thank you Bethan, Chris, Sarah and all of those involved for your incredible generosity and hard work. Then Pauline Down for her Christmas sing in solidarity of Syrian Refugees in Lesvos held at the Friends Meeting House - again a moving evening and £280 raised from the singers - thank you so much!! Also a big thank you to Whipsnade for their incredible donation of £1500 as well as all the individuals who have given so generousy in donations of money and clothing. So what are we doing with the donations.

*We are about to send off another batch of much needed warm winter clothing to Starfish Foundation in Molyvos.

*We are supporting volunteers who are going out in the next two months with small sums of money to pay for supplies and transport for refugees on the island.

*We will be buying and sending out essential supplies such as emergency blankets and medicines, with volunteers who are flying out as this is cheaper than sending parcels by post.

*Ariana will be going out for two weeks at the end of March with her husband Jeff who has disaster management expertise as well as first person on scene training. We will take donated money with us to buy supplies of clothing, food shelter and medical equipment on the island.

Julie is also planning another trip possibly in february half term.

The media coverage over the last week alone shows how desperate the situation still is and will continue to be for the forseable future so our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed in anyway to this appeal this year! Together we can make a difference.

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Update posted by Ariana Faris On Sep 15, 2015

we spent the day at Moria camp which is for non Syrian refugees. We worked in collaboration with Medicins du Monde, triaging the Medical cases to the doctor and treating more minor issues ourselves. The worst case we saw who went straight for medical attention was an 8 year girl with extensive burn all over thigh. The wound dressing was so old and filthy that flies were landing on it. Fresh dressing, antibiotics and analgesia provided. The conditions in the camp very poor, and Director of IRC, MSF and UNHCR all say something must be done.

Setting up a Baby friendly tent, and safe area for women would be fantastic and we will sow the seeds of this today.


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Update posted by Ariana Faris On Sep 12, 2015

The last couple of days we have entered a period of transition as many people are now arriving and staying at the bustop sometimes for 24 hours waits for buses that are arriving intermittently. There are no facilities: No water tap or toilets as the local council fears this area turning into a semipermanent camp are refusing permission to provide these. We have also been requested not to provide food or water but we have disregarded this when the risk to people's safety in the high temperatures require an immediate response. We setup a temporary clinic by the car providing first aid and Julie has been checking pregnant women on the backseat of the car. The good news is that NGOs are Going to Provide guidance and a new transit area is planned in the next month

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Update posted by Ariana Faris On Sep 08, 2015

So we have been here three days and are beginning to get the hang of things. Yesterday conditions in Mytilene where people have to register were at boiling point because all processing of documents had stopped. Very hard to persuade people to stay in Molyvos which is a safer place rather than attempt the three day walk to the port. The team and volunteers we have joined are incredibly positive and hard-working. People just get on with the job at hand as best they can. Julie yesterday looking after heavily pregnant woman and checking over babies in the camp. We were also able to top up supplies and buy much-needed large bins to tidy up the camp. Today good news as the tensions in Lesvos forced the authorities to improve the processing and we hear 8000 people left the island today so Mytilene much safer. Here in Molyvos 'help the refugees 'hired coaches but still a lot of stress for people struggling to stay together and worried they won't get on the bus . When they first arrive having made the precarious journey by sea they are hopeful and happy. Soon after when they have realised maybe they have to walk as they can't get a taxi to take them 65 k , and they see the camp is very temporary and there is no official NGO or government set up here the expressions on faces change as they recognise the reality. However we have only encountered dignified friendly and polite attitudes where the situation would justify more anger and frustration . We have heard many stories of loss and hope. Please share - every penny really does helps to make a difference here .

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Update posted by Julie Osborne On Aug 25, 2015

If you would like to read more about the work of the team of volunteers we are joining please visit https://www.facebook.com/HelpForRefugeesInMolyvos

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We have started our blog: Please see refugeecrisisgreece.blogspot.com. Please do share this as widely as possible. We will post our videos on our youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj-5MqTC7RzOzCCIe2bindw THANKS AGAIN FOR SUCH AN OVERWHELMING response. J & A

Julie Osborne

Update posted by Sep 05

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So we have now reached our online target of 2000 and together with our offline fund-raising of 915 we are approaching a total of 3000!!! This is absolutely fantastic and THANK YOU all. We will keep you posted with details of our trip once we are there by means of a blog. Details to follow later. Please keep spreading the word, as every extra pound counts!

Julie Osborne

Update posted by Sep 01

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Ariana and I are absolutely overwhelmed by the responses and generous donations from our families, friends, colleagues and friends of friends. THANKYOU ALL so very much for your contributions. I will be making contact with the volunteers on the ground again today, who have been endorsed by the UNHCR with whom I spoke yesterday. This will inform our final packing. Unfortunately Aegean Airlines (unlike some others) are not prepared to provide free extra baggage allowance for this humanitarian cause.

Julie Osborne

Update posted by Sep 01

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WE are having a couple of issue with people trying to donate as guests via paypal - we are in the process of resolving them and things should be up and running tomorrow mid day - thanks for your patience!

Ariana Faris

Update posted by Aug 30

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We greatly admire your efforts.

Gordon James

Backed with £25.00 On Apr 09, 2016

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Kirsty McGovern

Backed with £10.00 On Mar 25, 2016

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Guest

Backed with £50.00 On Mar 24, 2016

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Well done Ariana and Julie! Wishing you all the best on your trip!

Sophie Vlacos

Backed with £100.00 On Mar 24, 2016

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Amazing work!

Raine Trott

Backed with £25.00 On Dec 24, 2015

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Happy birthday to Mum and Dad :)

Leah Gilly

Backed with £20.00 On Dec 24, 2015

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Eileen Ashcroft

Backed with £10.00 On Dec 24, 2015

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P BREESE

Backed with £250.00 On Dec 22, 2015

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Thank you so much for providing the care you are providing. I'm so glad you are there!!!

LouAnne Lachman

Backed On Dec 12, 2015 Amount Hidden

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with love and hope Cherry xx

Cherry Stewart

Backed with £25.00 On Nov 22, 2015

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