LSWB was founded and is run by an amazing woman called Maria. Herself a refugee and widow from Kenya, Maria originally ran LSWB from her kitchen, funding meals for the homeless with her salary as a nanny. It is family-run, with Maria and her children all involved in the day-to-day organisation of the centre and its activities. Maria also welcomes many volunteers from across the world to support them and who bring different skills and expertise.
The primary beneficiaries are refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and across Africa. They are trying to escape war, persecution, and inequality and are willing to risk their lives to achieve this. The majority end up in Greece, stuck in camps or overcrowded housing. The legal situation means that they are unable to legally work but at the same time cannot move onto another country. This has been hugely exacerbated by the recent Covid-19 pandemic, as the lockdown measures mean many charities and organisations have closed. This has left thousands of refugees without any kind of support. Throughout this all, Maria has been determined to keep LSWB functioning. She has adapted distribution so that social distancing can be implemented while employing refugees to make masks which are distributed to refugee camps, and the remainder sold.
Because LSWB is a grassroots organisation, it receives no formal funding from the government and is completely dependent on donations, one-off grants, and the rent from the flats for volunteers. However, due to Covid-19, the majority of volunteers were forced to return home, meaning LSWB is struggling to fund the spaces they rent and the resulting bills.
If LSWB is forced to fully or even partially close down then more than 500 families will be affected. Please consider donating - even just a few pounds will make a huge difference! :)
More information on LSWB can be found here:
- Website: https://loveandservewithoutboundaries.org
- Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=219605392211264&ref=content_filter
- Facebook group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/212988105700524?group_view_referrer=profile_browser
- Instagram name: loveandservewithoutboundaries
- Jan Manessi
- Cathy S
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