Our teams are actively conducting emergency response operations after the catastrophic events we have witnessed in the past days. Moria camp is burnt to the ground, and over 12,000 people are seeking shelter on the roads surrounding Moria and on the route to Mytilene.
Urgent humanitarian aid and support is required for the vulnerable population of refugees and asylum seekers in Lesvos, many of whom have lost their belongings in the fire. R4R is working 24/7 on the ground to support with the distribution of essential items and identifying unaccompanied minors who are being evacuated from the island.
Our dedicated team of volunteers is constantly adapting hour by hour to respond to the most urgent need, while also working to support new sheltering to ensure refugees and asylum seekers can move off the streets and into a safe area.
We urgently need your support to continue these emergency response operations in order to help stabilise the situation and provide vital aid to all impacted by this catastrophe. Please donate today, and share this campaign with you friends, family and colleagues.
Refugee 4 Refugees was founded in 2017 by Omar Alshakal. We are driven by our mission to offer sustainable support, humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to refugees and asylum seekers from all nationalities who arrive at the shores of Lesvos and Samos seeking asylum in Europe.
Recently, due to challenges faced as a result of the threat of COVID-19, our operations have shifted to as we begin to provide more support to vulnerable populations. With the ever changing situation - reintroductions of lockdowns and restrictions of activity on the islands - we must ensure that we are adapting in order to continue to provide our essential services to those that need them most.
Our teams on the ground in both Lesvos and Samos are expanding to provide more support to the camp populations, despite the challenging circumstances.
Up until the fire that completely destroyed Moria camp on Tuesday 8th September, our operations in Lesvos involved three key elements. Our Food Distribution in Zone 12 of the olive grove, offered 3 meals a day to the approximately 2,000 people who were living in this area of the camp. Our Mandala Quarantine Shelters, built through the support of our previous emergency response fundraising campaign, was an area housing 80 isolation beds to be used in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in Moria. COVID-19 had eventually reached the camp a few days before the fire and the space was being used to quarantine those with suspected cases and those who had been in close contact with them. Most recently we had also begun to work in the Unaccompanied Minors Section, taking on responsibility for care-taking and safeguarding activities for over 170 unaccompanied minors, with the aim of improving the living conditions and safety for those children.
Though our fundraising will now focus on the urgent situation in Lesvos, we are still supporting a large population of vulnerable individuals in Samos with monthly mass-distributions from our (currently closed) Free Shop space. We have been running diaper distributions throughout the lock down period, alongside distributions of clothing and food packs for new mothers. Being a new mum is hard work, made harder because of the conditions they’re faced with living in Vathi camp. Thanks to the support we’ve received through generous donations, we are able to make sure these mums will continue to receive the items they need. In addition to this, we have been preparing and distributing hygiene packs to residents of the camp, containing essential items needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We are constantly working to ensure that our teams on the ground in Lesvos and Samos are prepared and ready to act in an emergency, and we don't know when and where the next incident will hit. With the hot, dry weather, wildfires are also a constant risk, and in the event that fires reach the camps, the results would be catastrophic. Your support helps us ensure our teams remain prepared to respond to any emergency that may unfold in Lesvos and Samos, and can provide emergency aid when possible.
Thank you to all of the R4R community for your continuous support,
Sophie & The Refugee 4 Refugees Team!
- Carla Nascimento
- Madeleine Cavallino
- Christine Chesterman
- Peta Brunel