It's the coldest winter in 20 years at Lesvos. The situation for refugees on Lesvos grows increasingly dire. The refugee population living on the island exceeds 6,000, of whom 50% are children living in life-threatening conditions in tents and are at serious risk of hypothermia. Only 130 have been recently accommodated in hotels. For this reason our group already donated €3500 within the first week of crowdfunding to Lesvos to give the refugees thermal underwear. But there's more money needed.
How did it start?
Three months ago the purple love of Marie and Frank started with a miraculous dance and a first kiss at the place you see in the picture. Ten days later Frank flew away to work at the refugee camp Kara Tepe. Every night Frank told Marie about his experiences in the camp, which led to the plan to go together once more. From February 3rd to 12th, Marie and Frank travelled to Lesvos, to do volunteer work at the refugee camp Kara Tepe and organise a project week for students and teachers of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. In total 18 people went from campus to camp and joined us in our dream to better the conditions for the refugees. As the inspirators of this project, our primary goal was set at €3.000. We reached this amount of money within just 6 days of crowdfunding. Our new goal is €10.000 on this crowdfunding page and €33.333 (one third of what the Dutch government gave in January) with the entire group, to make a wonderful humanitarian statement. We have already donated €28.499,80 to Movement on the Ground on the last evening of our very intense journey.
Wait, what is Kara Tepe?
Kara Tepe is one of the main refugee camps on Lesvos, which is at the forefront of the refugee crisis in Europe. Thousands of people still arrive on the island every month in small rubber boats. Over 700.000 people have passed through the Greek island last year. Refugees reach the shore soaked to the skin; often hypothermic and in deep shock. Kara Tepe started as a gateway camp, but it is slowly turning into a more permanent settlement for many of the refugees, half of them children, who stay there for many months. Living conditions are dire, which is even more problematic during the current harsh winter.
OK, so what have we done there?
We have worked for the organisation ‘Movement On The Ground’, mainly helping with the day to day activities for about 500 children, so help with play ground activities, football, singing, dancing, to let the children be a child once more. Next to that, we have rearranged the warehouse and made sure clothes and blankets reached their destination. We've helped making soup in the Giving Food Truck, we've baked 1000 donuts and have organised the first Ladies Night, that being turned into a weekly tradition. We've installed new solar panels on the containers that are being use to house the refugees at Kara Tepe.
Next to that, some bigger projects of the students Communication & Multimedia Design are getting intertwined with the more complex challenges of the refugee camp. Several long-term collaborations are being set up and during our journey, a programme to support Movement on the Ground in Amsterdam has been run by a colleague and 20 students in Amsterdam. Both on Lesvos and in Amsterdam, we have gathered (digital) 'stories that matter'. Education and idealism are meeting each other in this project, planting seeds for structural, interdisciplinary collaborations.
What’s happening with the raised money?
This money will be used both to improve the basic conditions of refugees at Kara Tepe and camp Moria during the coldest winter in decades in Greece (food, clothing, housing, keeping warm) and to help realising the bigger goal for this camp: to turn Kara Tepe into a campUS where people can continue their lifes, a place where education, work, play, healing and warm human contact are part of daily life. All this is handled by the organisation Movement on the Ground, which was started by a group of Dutch volunteers. They’re lean, efficient and these loving people make sure each donated euro has maximum impact. They prefer investing in the local economy at Lesvos and buy new stuff on the spot. To read more about them, check them out here: http://movementontheground.com/
What's in it for you?
First of all, it's a chance for you to make a tangible difference in this huge humanitarian crisis, but secondly, as a little thank you, the person who donates the most will win an exclusive night out with us! We'll take you out for dinner and bathe you in our abundance of love. Marie is willing to give you a reiki session, Frank has really strong hands that can both help rebuild refugee lifes and remove the stress from your back and shoulders. So whether you want to make a difference or you feel a strong urge to feel extremely loved and cared for during a night with us, it's up to you.
Short on cash? No problem!
Short on cash? That’s fine, you can help out tremendously by sharing this in your own network as well, helping to get the word out is equally valuable as making a donation. But even a donation of €10,- makes a big difference.
Thanks for reading through this, all help is much appreciated!
Live 4 Love Lesvos