Thanks to your generous donations, we reached our initial goal and are now crowdfunding for phase two of the project!
Help us reach our new goal of 200%!
The funds raised will be overseen by a committee consisting of members of our community of mindful volunteers. Together, we have been envisioning long-term projects which will have positive and sustainable impacts upon the well-being of the most vulnerable populations in Greece.
More exiting news:
Our Wake Up Athens Sangha is offering a 4 day New Years Retreat in Greece, and we wish to pioneer a groundbreaking retreat in which we will host Greek friends, refugees from Syria and Senegal, as well as international volunteers.
We are inviting those from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds to co-create activities with us, as we welcome the new year with meditation, reflection, art, dance, nature, and cross-cultural learning... all in the spirit of mindfulness and building our beloved community.
To make this possible, we are asking for your help to provide a few full scholarships for the refugees’ accommodations and travel expenses, as well as partial scholarships for Greeks and volunteers.
Thank you for co-creating a beautiful world with us!
We are a group of 15 international friends practicing mindfulness, who met in Plum Village mindfulness center in the summer, and share the common aspiration to cultivate peace in the world by bringing our presence, thoughtfulness and care to every interaction. We felt a strong calling to come to Athens together in order to listen and learn, and to offer our support and compassion to a country that currently faces both a refugee and an economic crisis.
We know that for us to truly be of service we need to take time to better understand the situation as it is on the ground. In order to do this, we have chosen to engage within various organisations and projects in whatever capacities best fit our individual and collective skills. For example:
- Zara and Romy are working as art teachers in Eleonas Camp
- Philippe and Dermot are working as physiotherapists at Doc Mobile
- Leonie lives and works in Athens for two years already, supporting refugees in various ways
- Vanessa, Peter, and David are working at Love and Serve without Boundaries
- Dermot, Mercia, and others are cooking food and distributing clothes in Hope Cafe
- Maarten is working on Not a Factory, a long term project to empower and employ refugees
- Sebastian and David have been serving food to the poor and homeless with Refugees´ Refuge
- Barry is helping with renovation in a community centre called Khora
- Dylan works also at Khora as legal support
- Matthias is helping community building
- David, Francie and Dermot are offering mindfulness workshops
- And we are all helping to build the Wake Up Athens mindfulness community
How do we do all these things without burning out?
How do we ensure that we stay mentally healthy and strong?
Living together in a harmonious and mindful community provides us with the energy, support, and love we need to face our everyday challenges. We co-create a space to meditate together, to share our difficulties as well as our joys, and to cultivate happiness and insight. And it is just so nice to come home after a long day and having someone prepare dinner for you and welcome you with a hug! :D
In order to make all this possible, we need your support!
Where will your money go to?
- During our initial stay of up to four months, we are able to finance most of the travel and living costs ourselves. However, we need your help with part of the rent! (€1850)
- We wish to offer material support to the organisations* we closely partner with in the form of donations of, among other things, food and kitchen equipment. (€550)
- We also have a deep aspiration to grow the Wake Up Athens mindfulness community, through which we are able to offer a safe refuge to others in weekly meditation meetings. For this, we aspire to create a project where we partner with refugees to custom make the meditation cushions that we need. (€350)
Any additional funds raised will be taken care of by a committee overseen by our entire community of mindful volunteers. Together, we have been envisioning long-term projects which will have positive and sustainable impacts upon the well-being of the most vulnerable populations in Greece. We have found that providing fair and ethical sources of livelihood is crucial for helping refugees to get back on their feet and re-establish their lives. Therefore, we are already enthusiastically laying the groundwork for social enterprise projects that will employ and empower people in need. Your financial backing will greatly support us to realize this!
Stay tuned, as this is only phase one of the project... :D
Thank you! Efharistume! Merci! Grazie! Gracias! Danke! Bedankt!
*The organisations we closely partner with at the moment are: Hope Cafe - Refugee Soul Food, a community space where refugees can meet, eat, and drink for free, and get the clothes they need; and Love and Serve without Boundaries, an organisation that offers food, clothes, and language classes to those in need.