Spending almost 10 weeks here has really given me an appreciation for the work that this organization does. To state our role bluntly, we fill in the gaps left by the Greek ministry and larger international organizations. While we do the 'usual' things such as food and clothing distribution, we also are host to a range of activities; from art workshops to skateboard lessons, we seek to provide meaningful opportunities that engage residents.
We also plan community-wide events to integrate and empower our diverse community. Last week, we planned a viewing of the Champions League football final - it was quite a sight to see kids and adults alike jump up and hug one another whenever a team scored! We've also had a multicultural community meal, and are now gearing up to build a community garden.
Last but not least, we do our best to meet the needs of individual residents and families. Some of us have accompanied residents on hospital visits, cleaned homes, provided first aid, or even scoured shelves at countless pharmacies for specific types of baby milk. I am consistently astonished at and motivated by the diligence of volunteers that I've been meeting here.
As a parting gift to this community, I'd like to meet another more specific need. We have received a lot of clothing donations, but are in need of items like girl's and women's leggings, long skirts, bras, and more. A lot of what we have in these categories are not culturally-appropriate for the women of this camp. During my shifts at clothing distribution, it's always disheartening to have to say to women that we cannot provide for them. Ladies, you know the satisfying feeling of having a properly fitted bra - let's make that happen for ladies at this camp!
The goal that I've set is arbitrary... by all means, surpass it! All funds will go towards Project Elea, whether it is through the purchase of these items of clothing at stores here in Athens, or fulfilling other organizational needs that come up.
If you're interested in the work that Project Elea is doing and would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me!
Thanks for partnering with us!