Hope Cafe Athens

£22,293 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 284 people in 41 months

My name is Kerrie Williams maiden name Kerrie Moor . I live in worcester with my husband and 3 boys.
Last December I left my home after seeing the horrific photos of the little boy Aylan washed up on Bodrum beach and went to volunteer for a month on Lesvos Island in Greece.
I worked with a then grassroots organisation ,Better Days For Moria. We established an 800 person capacity camp on an Olive Grove at the side of the Islands Hotspot from scratch. Thousands of hungry refugees were fed, cared for and supplied with everything they needed before they continued their journey towards the Baltic Route most of them heading for the security Europe offered.
On March the 18th an agreement between the EU and Turkey was made which changed the face of every refugees future. Many that arrived after the 20th March are still there.
While governments continue to support Assads bombing of children and infrastructure in Syria..its volunteers that ensure they feel loved and cared for. Their needs are not met by Greece and NGOs continue to do a terrible job of fulfilling basic necessities like shelter, warmth and food. Camps in Greece are basic , many contain caravans, rooms constructed in warehouses and tents outside in the open.
volunteers support is vital to the refugees survival. we are the ones that top up food supplies, provide blankets clothes utensils and equipment for them to live a very basic life. Voluneers online co ordinate aid into Greece from all corners of the world from wheelchairs to kettles. There is a network of groups online that work together in the way no NGOs do. And we are all self funded so you can be sure that every penny of your donation goes direct to help refugees.
I created an online group called No Them Only Us Refugees and displaced person Support on Facebook which now has 3000 members. I daily share news updates relating to this crisis , Network to build strong alliances with other groups and individuals ,provide support to refugees who have a specific need whether that is a sim card, new baby clothes, milk nappies or a prosthetic leg even a Major Emergency Operation that UNHCR have refused to support due to a low chance of survival in the patient during surgery.
Ive created groups that have achieved amazing results..most recently a skull repair to a small boy whose roof collapsing taking him with it when a bomb exploded on his home. Hes now recovering well.
A baby with Kidney disease, A single mother with a Brain Tumour still ongoing and a mother just through the Syrian border with Terminal cancer trying to reunite with her kids so they can have quality time before she passes. These cases all need money . Every penny is spent as quickly as it comes..its vital and it saves lives.
 Refugees are not terrorists...they are not crouds of single men hunting for wives as the news reports. They are families like us, who have lost everything including children,brothers,husbands. they keep their strength because they have no choice..we must support them to keep their hopes alive...
We should all put ourselves in their shoes..instead of judging because we think we know what Syria was like. it was alot more like Europe than you think.Mixed religions and cultures living together successfuly. I pray they get it back one day.

My online group is growing  rapidly ive taken on 10 Admin supporters and we are changing peoples lives,it's due to all the wonderful warm hearts of you our supporters spreading the word and showing your support regularly
Let's stand for Peace and show some love to those who have forgotten what it is <3

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By Vinda Gouma. Lawyer

" try to guess who I am! I am more in the media than Donald Trump and his tweets, erdogan and his democracy, Putin and his politics. I was the main reason for the failure of the government in Germany and for the nokia of the rights in Europe. I am the great concern of many citizens in this country, because I am more dangerous than poverty, abuse in families, pollution, drug use, climate change, lack of nurses and educators. I'm the one who always feels guilty for other people's mistakes. People he doesn't even know. I'm the one who's always ashamed to welcome neighbors when something happens again. I have been in favour of each individual's mistakes and I feel threatened by every report in the media.

Did you recognize me?
I'm the refugees!
And it's not a grammatical mistake due to a lack of I'm the refugees! All the refugees. I'm not a doctor, not a lawyer, a farmer or a journalist, no artist, no seller, neither taxi driver nor teacher, but the refugees. Although I come from a small town in Syria and for me people in Damascus have already been foreign, I have been one of hundreds of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Africa. Although we speak different languages, have different religions and pasts, let alone world views and opinions. But who cares about such differences, we are all the refugees at the end. I lost friends and relatives through the war, apartment, job, car, my past and my home. But a loss I have only felt later is my individuality that I left behind the dinghy at the borders of Europe."

This text is a letter of the lawyer vinda gouma, who appeared in the tagesspiegel of 27. 1. 2019
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Happy New Year to all .
A new year and a new look for Hope Café. We decided to freshen up our interior along with creating an office to give some privacy to the many families we interview arriving from the Islands and across the land route from Turkey.
Either way these families arrive to Athens exhausted and with only the clothes on their back and very few personal belongings.
Families and individuals arriving from the dangerous crossing over the Evros River have often been walking for days, weeks or months . They are hungry , thirsty, wet,cold and often in a state of hopelessness due to the fact that they travelled with hope but arrived to the disparaging realization that the EU does not in fact welcome refugees.
Living on one of the hotspots on the Greek Islands is an
experience many never forget. Often families are housed for many months in tents suitable only for an overnight stay in summertime. Queues for food are so long many start waiting at 4:00 am. Garbage piles high around commercial bins and the stench is unbearable. Washing is done in the outdoor sinks with cold water only and this hardens hands creating sores like I've never seen. Families are expected to shower in blocks which are dirty, soap less and not heated even in winter. Babies go without milk and diapers. Fresh vegetables and fruit become a memory as does Hope.
Hope Café was created to feed back some dignity to people who arrive broken and deflated.

In Hope Café everyone is welcomed as a friend without judgement or prejudice. Guests choose a drink as in a café which is served by one of our volunteers , many themselves refugees. This in itself is a big step towards a life of normality , of having options, of an existence somewhere closer to normality than they have experienced in a long time. In so many of the Big charity buildings here families queue , wait then take a number and wait many hours to be greeted haughtily by staff members who themselves are over worked and underpaid. We chat with them to assess what kind of help is neededand then make a decision on what we can do to help them. Their needs can vary greatly from needing help getting off the streets, needing food because their money has run out, needing a psychologist to smaller things like needing a lawyer or advice on how to access Greek AFM (tax numbers) or make an asylum appointment. With 3 years in Athens we have extensive experience and a network of collaberaters to offer them precise advice and support.
Seeing them leave with a hug of Hope and a smile is the most rewarding gift ever. <3
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We at Hope Café have spent the last two months revising our distribution system to ensure we really are helping the most desperate families in Athens . Most organizations have stopped distributing Pampers and milk now so we have devised a short interview and registration system by pooling our experience and utilizing a database created by Sarah Holden who works for Google and has spent a lot of time on this for us .. it works !!
We have concentrated our distribution toward the areas with the most need..
1 Baby packs for New Mothers .
2 Medical vulnerables pampers and milk.
3 Milk for mums with health issues making them unable to breastfeed and fresh milk for children under 2.
4 New arrivals accommodation and support applying for registration.
5 translation support for appointments .
6 Clothing for all.
7 food for the homeless , vulnerable and unregistered.
Families with high medical vulnerabilities are often refused asylum by EU countries . We have a high concentration of children and adults needing complicated and life saving surgery and prosthetic limbs . They are desperate because they are paying for medication that they don’t get a stipend from Echo funding for .
We need you to help us feed Hope ❤️
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New Arrivals are higher than ever, with finding accommodation so hard we are resorting on the mainland to giving out tents again so families can in effect queue for places on the camps that were cleared in the tent to home scheme and are now being refilled with a very basic organisation support.
It falls to grassroots organisations even more to provide all the necessary basics to keep life bearable for these families arriving with nothing but their clothes on their backs. One of my long term colleagues only last week fell apart on the cafe stairs after witnessing a family with 3 children under 4 enter the cafe wet from rain and sleeping in Victoria Square in the middle of the day having newly arrived on the land route from The Evro river crossing. Kind words and hugs were needed to encourage this person that they were doing all they could physically do . As an empath it can really get to you when conditions are as bad as they are right now.
We have had an influx of more than 350 young single lads arrive in the area from Patras Port. The area was evacuated by Police and they were all processed at the police station to make sure they were registered and fingerprints taken. These young lads faces are imprinted with pain , fatigue and a look of being lost and unwanted. Being able to welcome them in the evenings at Hope cafe to feed them a hot meal fills me and my team with so much pleasure. During Ramadan the cafe has an eery feeling at times as every one fasting looses their cheeriness coping with the fasting month. When the boys enter and enjoy their food their smiles and gratefulness lifts us in a way we miss. only 1 week left and we will be bustling again on a daily basis. Insallah .
These lads deserve a safe place to sleep in the same way that any other vulnerable person does yet they are always bottom of the priority list for UNHCR and the other big orgs that are here to protect them and their human rights. A new project is being discussed as we speak to see if we can find a solution.
Many great things are about to change and we look forward to being able to share them with you soon.
For now lets concentrate on feeding hope as we know best.
Hope cafe is feeding Hope by....Supplying around 60 families per week with clothing. Giving 15-20 New Baby packs per week to all mums in their 9th month. Purchasing medication for families that are struggling because of high medical need . This week we purchased 4 brand new wheelchairs for severely disabled youngsters enabling them to accompany their families when they leave the house. Inviting families for iftar (breaking their Fast) at 20:45 and serving them as if they are in a restaurant with friends. We purchased special milk for a very sick young man who has deteriated so much hes having to be fed by tube. Supplied Travel cots , strollers and many items of baby equipment donated by groups in the UK such as Care UK and Share UK who regularly send containers without whom we could not spread as much Hope.
We seriously need your donations more than ever to keep spreading hope. Collaberations with new Projects are exciting and being discussed as we speak to widen our circle and make a difference to the people that need us. We are so grateful to all our regular supporters and to several new ones this month. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for all your messages of love and support. I cant answer all them immediately these days but you are all very important to us <3
My son Sam last summer.Out again soon
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Mick Doherty
39 months ago

Thank God for people like you

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£22,293 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 284 people in 41 months
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1 month ago
3 months ago
Carly Pearson
3 months ago

Donated as a Christmas present for Angie Pearson, keep up the amazing work and Merry Christmas to you all xx

Mick Doherty
39 months ago

Thank God for people like you

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