Aug 29, 2019

Challenging times

Hello everyone,

This project report has been long overdue, but today we finally found a moment to sit down and reflect on the past months. Summer on Lesvos has been challenging, to say the least. We have been working round-the-clock to accommodate the sharp increase in arrivals to the island. At the moment, multiple boats are coming in every day, carrying women, men and children who are all in need of food, water, and shelter. Yet with the Kara Tepe CampUs at full capacity and Moria housing over 9.000 people, there are neither resources nor space to support these new arrivals. That makes our work more needed than ever.

First priority has been to provide shelter to the arrivals that are forced to sleep outside on pieces of cardboard. We set up extra tents in the Olive Grove CampUs to house them and will set up more over the coming weeks. But it is also incredibly important that our regular activities keep running as per usual – we have to make sure that the lives of our CampUs residents remain dignified and safe, even with the added pressure of new arrivals. One such activity that significantly contributes to the residents’ wellbeing, is the community kitchen in the Kara Tepe CampUs. Here, people can cook their favourite foods and socialise with one another whilst doing so.  

Sadly however, so many stoves broke down over the past month that we were forced to temporarily close our community kitchen. We do not have enough budget to fix it, which means that residents have to rely on catered meals once again. The catered meals tend to be a great source of frustration, because they are neither healthy nor flavoursome (think cheeseburgers). At this most critical time, every source of support matters for the refugees on Lesvos, whether it be a tent or a homecooked meal. That is why we need your help to reopen our community kitchen as soon as possible! 

As of now, every donation to our cooking and conversation project will go to the repair of the stoves. To get them back up and running, we require at least €1.800 (€300 per stove, with six stoves in total). This is where you come in! Your financial contribution will allow us to reopen the community kitchen and thereby offer some hope at a time when we here on Lesvos need it most. 

With warm regards and gratitude,

The Movement on the Ground team

Apr 19, 2019

Concluding the Refugee Women Empowerment Program

Dear supporters of Movement on the Ground,

We are sending you this report as a conclusion of the Refugee Women Empowerment Program on Lesvos in 2017 and 2018. We would like to thank you for your loyal support. Below you will find the results, successes and learnings of the women program, which would not have been possible without your (financial) contribution.

In 2017 and 2018, the Refugee Women Empowerment program was active on Lesvos, Greece. With the support of you and other various donors, we organised women's computer classes, girls' football trainings, ladies' dance evenings and female-only arts & craft activities that all provided female refugees with the support they so highly needed.

We deeply thank you for your donations! Through your donations both grand and small, we were able to make a real difference in the lives of the refugee women/girls on Lesvos.

With warm regards and gratitude,

Team Movement on the Ground

Jan 15, 2019

Ladies' night - dancing into the new year!

Hello everyone!

First of all, we would like to wish you a happy, healthy, loving, and peaceful New Year!

We celebrated the holidays on Lesvos with the residents of Kara Tepe and the Olive Grove, as well as the local Greek people. It was wonderful to see the two communities come together like this, and it has given us lots of energy and motivation to continue our work in 2019! 

In the final months of 2018, many refugees were transferred from the camps on Lesvos to the mainland of Greece, whilst at the same time many new people arrived by boat from Turkey. This is still the case now, which means that the makeup of the camps constantly changes. With our Syrian Women Empowerment Program then, we are trying to give the women of Kara Tepe, both those that have just arrived and the ones who have been a familiar face for a long time, a sense of continuance and security. Our community centre provides them with a safe space, to relax, to laugh, to spend time with each other, and to learn new skills. 

At the moment, we organise several activities specifically for women. There are women’s computer classes and girls’ football trainings (with female residents of Kara Tepe as their trainers/coaches). But our favourite evening of the week is Wednesday, when we hold a ladies’ night. On ladies’ night, we invite all the women from the camp to the community centre and play songs from their home countries, in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, and English. Some just watch and listen, others sing along, but most women end up dancing! 

The ladies’ night is very special and important to us. It is a way to reach the women who are unlikely to join our other programs, because they feel uncomfortable being in a room together with men or do not speak English. It also breaks down the language barrier which often separates the women; for one song, we all understand each other. Last Wednesday evening for example, an Afghani grandmother danced together with her granddaughter to the Dutch song ‘Leef’ by André Hazes. This is the song we end every ladies’ night with, and by now, almost every woman in Kara Tepe knows it!

It is with your donations that we can keep these activities running, so on behalf of us and all the women taking part in the Syrian Women Empowerment Program, thank you! 

Team Movement on the Ground

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