Thousands of refugees are currently stranded in Greece. They are no longer splashed across the headlines, but split up into smaller groups and tucked out of sight in military camps.
Many of these people have been through extremely traumatic experiences and, having made the difficult decision to risk their lives for the chance of safety in Europe, they are now faced with a lengthy wait – potentially over a year - in anonymous, degrading conditions. It is the complete lack of meaningful support, routine, information and occupation which now risks taking one of the biggest tolls on their health. Children out of school, lives on hold, and futures unknown.
Our project started out very small – as friends who met volunteering and who decided to set up an educational project within one of the ‘relocation’ camps, and whose proposal was accepted inside the camp of Nea Kavala by both UNHCR and the military there. The camp is in the north of Greece, and is currently ‘home’ to an estimated 500 refugees, from mostly Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan but also Palestine, Kuweit, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea, and DRC among others. Approximately 25% of the population are children who, along with their families, are living in extremely close quarters in containers along the runway of an old airfield, with nothing to do while hoping and waiting out the long months for their asylum paperwork to be processed.
The aim of the We Are Here! Community Centre is to provide a space where children and adults can feel a sense of routine, safety and validation and are able to learn and engage in activities, attend classes and workshops,
You can visit our website at: www.weareherecentre.org
We also post regular updates about our project on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreHereCentre
Money donated to the We Are Here community centre project is divided between two pots.
75% of donations will go directly to funding material and projects for the centre – building materials to extend our space, photocopying, distributions, buying educational materials, art, textile and sports supplies, and buying basic need items or educational and creative resources for individuals in the camp when we see it is needed and helpful.
25% of donations will go to helping with the running costs of the project. Our team works for free and all volunteers who come to join us fund their own flights and food and make a monthly contribution towards the volunteer accommodation and running of the two project cars taking us to and from camp several times a day, but in order to put petrol in the cars and reduce the cost of accommodation to make this a viable project for people to stay longterm (which makes the project and our services so much better) we also need help from you!