There she goes again..

There she goes again.. | Geld inzamelen
Roos helpt vluchtelingen in Griekenland als coördinator van de organisatie IHA


The last year I've spent about four months volunteering in Greece. This summer I've started a new project with IHA, providing continuous activities for the residents of Epanomi shelter.

Epanomi shelter is an apartment complex that houses asylum seekers, relocation and family reunification candidates with a fluctuating number of 170-210 people in total. In this complex only families are allowed to live.

IHA has been distributing vegetables in Epanomi every Wednesday since February and therefore we have a good relationship with both the residents and the organisation on site. With regards to this we decided to concentrate our energy on this site in cooperation with and as financial assistance for Caritas, the organisation on site. Together we will be able to identify and to answer to needs of Epanomi residents in offering short- and long-term activities with recreational, but also educational claims. By ongoing evaluation, weekly and monthly, IHA will be able to ensure the positive effects and sustainability of all its projects and is flexible in changing programs quickly if needed.

In the first weeks of the project we've been in Epanomi on Monday and Thursday for afternoon activities, and Saturday for a full activity day. After the trial period we can expand the time being in Epanomi, and add activities and days.
As with all activities, it is of great importance to us to involve the residents as much as possible.  

The projects we´re working on are the following:


We're working on collecting a good amount of Arabic, English and Greek books and develop a system for lending the people in Epanomi books. This would be a great combination of recreation and education. 

Movie nights

We´re having a movie night every Saturday. Residents will be asked what movie they would like to see and every Saturday evening we´ll set up the projector at the community field. Watching the movies in English with arabic subtitles will make the residents more familiar with the language.

Art afternoon

We've been organising arts activities twice a week. Because these children haven't been educated for years the motor skills need a lot of attention. We're focussing on these by means of playfull arts activities like origami, making bracelets, making dream catchers, painting mandalas, etc.


We have 6 sewing machines available that will be placed in a room in Epanomi. A few women will be in charge of the room and will organise the opening hours. We are providing the machines and material.

Children games

There are loads of easy games where (almost) no material is needed, that can both be recreational and educational. Volunteers of ours are making a database with all the possible games, so we can continue certain games even though the volunteers might be changing once in a while.

Beauty afternoon

Women often love to have a moment to take care of their body. We would like to bring face masks, nailpolish, henna etc so that the women have a moment where they allow themselves to relax and think of their own needs (instead of always only thinking or their children's needs).

The sandcastle project

Creating a sculpture out of a material, destroying it again and rebuilding another out of the rubbish is an effective way for kids in transition periods to teach them that in life we will always form beautiful relationships and attachments but they may get lost. However, we can nonetheless rebuild our foundations and potentially create a situation even better than the last. Kids of Epanomi may also have experienced to different degrees, material as well as emotional losses but also face many opportunities and possibilities to start anew. Therefore this activity is exactly the type of feelings we need to install in the kids in this camps. Due to Epanomi being so close to the beach, the sand may be the perfect material to use as it is free of course and the sea could work as the perfect metaphor for it to be washed away and the following week for it to be built up again (or have the kids destroy it because kids love destroying things). The older kids may build up a fort on the beach with mosquito nets or other light materials (as something short-termed and temporary), and then after we can all sit around, dance and play games etc. Especially taking place in the evening the tent-part of the activity would naturally unfold its full charming atmosphere by facing the sunset.

CV workshop

In collaboration with HAiG we are developing a CV workshop in the next weeks; this is developed to prepare people for getting a job in their relocation country. In this workshop the people will see what a decent CV looks like and they will learn about job interviews in Europe. If people in Epanomi are interested we could also arrange this workshop there. 


The last month we've been testing activities and devoting our time to the start of the Epanomi project. Residents have shared with us that they're very happy with our work and we are certain of continuing this important project.


Now that I'll be leaving Greece soon I would like to gather as much money as possible to support this project that I've been a big part of this summer. Because I am not able to stay and work for the Epanomi activities in the field, I would like to do as much as possible from a distance.


The same counts for Bring Back The Energy, a lovely initiative by my dear friend Nour.

Nour fled the war in Syria and has been waiting in Greece for his relocation for over 1,5 year now. During this long period of waiting he has been helping other refugees on a daily basis.
His new project, Bring Back The Energy, is focussed on the refugees in Drama camp. The building where these refugees are staying in is hidden far from the civilized world. It takes us two hours, driving on small roads leading us through the middle of nowhere, to reach Drama camp. The people are tucked away and mentally in a very bad condition. When Nour saw that even the kids didn't have light in their eyes anymore, he decided that he wanted to do all he could to change this.
Besides going to the camp weekly, he organised a trip to a waterpark for all interested residents, with help and full support of aid hoc.
It was a big succes. Kids had the opportunity to be kids again and just live in the moment. Parents were taking pictures of their smiling kids all the time and were extremely thankful. 
Nour's idea was to take the people out of their shitty residence and to remind them of the world outside of the camp, and he did. With help of a lot of great volunteers, a generous bus company and a welcoming waterpark he was able to show the people that there is light despite all of the darkness.


Please help me to financialy support these two great initiatives. Every amount counts.


Thanks in advance!

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