The country of Greece, and especially the island of Lesvos, have been flooded with refugees coming from many countries, such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. These men, women and children have left everything and left to escape war and persecution, in hopes of finding a peaceful life for themselves and their families.
Despite the economic crisis in Greece during the past few years, the Greek people have tried to support the refugees as much as possible, with limited resources that they have. For this reason, the island of Lesvos has been referenced as 'The Island of Solidarity', and its people were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago.
The refugee crisis in Lesvos in not an issue for Greece alone but increasingly has fallen on the local residents. An agreement between the EU and Turkey to limit the refugees fleeing to Europe has resulted in many thinking that there is no longer a problem. There are currently about 11,000 refugees on the island with nearly 8,500 being in one camp with very difficult conditions. They are stuck in the camp due to reasons beyond what the Greeks on Lesvos can facilitate. It is really a national/international concern to be solved.
Despite the economic crisis in Greece, the Greek people have tried to support the refugees as much as possible, with the limited resources that they have. For this reason, the island of Lesvos has been referenced as 'The Island of Solidarity', and its people have been nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize.
The refugee crisis in Lesvos is not an issue for Greece alone, but it is the responsibility of every one of us to support solving this humanitarian crisis.
It was decided to launch a fundraiser to help provide basic needs to this community, particularly the unaccompanied minors. The money collected, and will continue to collect, will go to a local non-governmental association that has been active in aiding these people. The name of the organization is 'Syniparxi' (Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean) and is a local organization that has been making a difference for more than 20 years. All of Syniparxi members are volunteers. You can learn more about this organization at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/514654685298655/.
Those of us involved are the family of Robert Dukellis from Whittier, California. This GoFundMe activity was created as a vehicle as a memorial activity to provide an "in-memory" and/or "in-lieu of flowers" option to a cause that is current and will make a difference. Robert's father was from Mytilini. Several family members have lived continuously in Mytilini are are actively involved in the association and are addressing needs of the refugees, especially the children, through their local association comprised totally by volunteers. The key relatives Mytilini, Greece who are volunteers with the Syniparxi association include Yannis Pavlis and Christina Chatzidaki.
Funds raised will be expended by Syniparxi for activities focused on providing opportunities for learning (I.e. computer training as pictured above), outings to various places on the island to allow the children opportunities to be away from the refugee camp and includes exposing children to various trades, excursions to the beach and recreational activities among others. The expenses that funds will be designated include bus rental transportation, admission expenses, food and activities not available in the camp.
All donations received in memory of Robert Dukellis by October 15, 2018 will all be given to the Syniparxi association representatives personally by the family on October 17/18, 2018 in Mytilini, Greece. All donations received after October 15th will be given to Syniparxi on a monthly basis after receipt.
Bob's family in the United States has visited his family in Greece, explored the refugee tragedy, visited the camps and attended functions geared toward the children, including providing activities, outings and meals outside of the camps and provided training opportunities to the children, primarily the youth on the island without parents.
Thank you for any support that you can provide! Everything makes a difference.
Thank you for remembering Bob Dukellis.
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