Refugee Camp Clothing Fund - Greece

Raising funds to provide summer clothing , shoes and underwear to the refugees stranded at the EKO and Idomeni camps in Northern Greece

(Thank you to Deena Stevens for the video)

Hi Everyone,

As some of you will know I have spent the last few weeks volunteering in the refugee camps in and around Idomemi at the border in Northern Greece. People there continue to live in horrendous conditions with not even their most basic needs being met regards food, shelter, sanitation and healthcare, despite the ongoing efforts of NGOs and volunteers. There is simply endless endless need and this will be the case for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the camps that are there now will be cleared, but there will be other camps, with the same dire need. 

(On the train tracks at Idomeni station)

(Some of the kids with Gavin's truck at EKO camp)

Just one of the many needs that is currently impossible to meet is that for clothing. Many people have been forced to wear the same clothes everyday for weeks/months, not having another outfit to wear while washing the first. Not having another outfit to change into when they are soaked through by the rain which also destroys their tents and bedding. Whole families having to sit in wet clothes through the night waiting for the sun to come up. On top of this, many only have heavy winter clothing, which they are now having to wear in the increasingly hot midday temperatures. Shoes are a HUGE issue, for children and adults alike and there is NO new underwear available.

(After a night of heavy rain in Idomeni)

(Lighthouse Relief briefing with Save the Children)

While there we were doing clothing distribution tent to tent, taking a family's orders and then going to the warehouse to fill them. However in the last two weeks clothing distributions have ground to a halt as there is simply NO suitable summer clothing or shoes available.

(Keeping track of family clothing orders by tent!)

I will be going back over in a few weeks and so have taken this opportunity while home (spanning Ireland and the Netherlands this time) to try source some of the clothing items that are in the shortest supply over there (by that I mean there are NONE). To buy them over there, first hand and of good quality, even using our local Greek contacts and suppliers, is too expensive and means that we cannot buy anywhere near the amount that is needed. Even taking into account shipping /transport costs, it is still cheaper by donation.

(Filling orders and making up clothing packages for families)

Already, over the past 3 days, TONS of really great clothing and shoes have been donated and we expect even more before the deadline this weekend. The next step now is to try to raise the money to transport everything within the next 2 weeks. We are currently negotiating with transport companies on price, some of whom have kindly offered us very large discounts, but it will still be expensive.

I have set up this fundraising page to try to raise money to ensure that we can cover shipping costs, but also in the hope that any money not used to pay for transport can then go on to be used to buy underwear for men, women and children, as this must of course be new and so is difficult to source through donation and is desperately needed. All of the money raised therefore will be going towards shipping and the purchasing of underwear. None of the money raised will be used to cover any personal expenses.

(The donations warehouse, now full of only winter clothes)

As I said in the original post when asking for clothing donations, the items we have collected are in such short supply that every single item we transport over is important as it can make someone’s day to day life a bit more comfortable/bearable, while they have to go on living in such undignified and inhuman conditions.

(Rainbow over EKO camp despite everything :))

(Wonderful school set up in the last few weeks by EKO project volunteers, staffed by primary school teachers who are also refugees)

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about what I have been doing or will be doing over there, how the money is being used or anything else at all. 

And finally, no donation is too small, the price of even one more pack of pants will be greatly appreciated, and will make a big difference to the person who receives them.

Thank you for your support!

(The kitchen at EKO camp, run by chefs and caterers who are also refugees, facilitated by volunteers and donors)

(And of course Arabic classes for volunteers, provided by Abdullah, one of the camps indispensable translators, who is also a refugee, from Aleppo, Syria)

ALSO… for anyone following or looking to follow what is happening over there, Are You Syrious provide frequent, high quality updates from the ground, detailing the situation in each country. Their facebook page is at 

(On the tracks at Idomeni train station)
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Liz Mc 
Dublin, Ireland
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