Dear friends (old and new)
Thank you for being here and reading this far! Now, please, read on!
Introduction (skip if you already know me)
I am Thomas Pieters and I'm 33, turning 34 this summer (ouch!).
I live in Belgium and work there as a teacher and archaeologist. The latter has left me with a love for Greece and the former has enforced my desire to help people in need.
The important stuff (don't skip, seriously)
I'm going to Athens in July to help out refugees in Athens, specifically in and around Viktoria square. The square acts an important meeting ground for people on the run and is also a transit point from where they try to make the trek into Macedonia.
The City Council isn't too fond of the people congregating there and has no structural relief effort in the area. Luckily, a number of NGO's and volunteer organisations have taken matters into their own hands.
I plan to join forces with these organisations and help out logistically in whichever way I can.
Secondly, I plan to write a few compelling articles that shed a light on the situation on the ground. I'll also be keeping a blog on which I will make portraits of people on the run, who are they, what have they been through, what are their hopes for the future...
Show me the money
I've started this campaign to help press the cost of my volunteering in Athens.
These are my estimated costs:
Airplane : +/- €400
Food: €20/day*14= €280
Public Transport: €10/week*2= €20
Lodging: Free (Thank you, Winfred and Steph!)
FIRST GOAL: €700
Also, if you've a second hand smart phone and/or lap top that I can use, give me a heads-up.
SECOND GOAL: €1400
After smashing the first goal in under 24 hours, I have decided to set this second lofty goal.
I'm trying to limit the amount of stuff I bring from Belgium because of logistics, both my aeroplane weight allowance and the changing daily needs of organisations on the ground. Instead, the money gathered in excess of my initial budget will be spent on purchasing supplies ranging from foodstuffs to clothes, even buying bus tickets to get people on the move again and reunite with their families up north.
I'll be keeping a blog of my activities, which I hope to update at least daily, so you'll get instant feedback on what's happening.
The only other reward I can offer is the fuzzy feeling you'll get just from knowing that you've done a good thing and that through your contribution you've enabled me to help people in need.
Should I overshoot my goal, the excess money will be used to buy supplies for the refugees.
- Hannah Cogen
- Peter Verhoye
- David Baetens