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Jan 28, 2019

Project Update

Dear friend,

We are in the middle of our project and are on ongoing collaboration with the Municipality of Marathonas, the area where most destruction was caused in the blaze of July 2018. In particular, we are working with the head of the Welfare Department of the Municipality in terms of accepting referrals. We have made clear our aspiration to help families and/or individuals with most vulnerable backgrounds or that find it difficult to acquire full help from other sources.

We are continuing our collaboration with the Terre des Hommes NGO (the Greek branch) http://www.terredeshommes.org/ who proceed to referrals through their programme named ANAKTO -where beneficiaries from the area can find psychological support for free- within which they detect also practical needs. Not having meeting such needs in their scope, they direct them to us.

A similar process is about to start soon with Caritas Hellas https://www.caritas.org/where-caritas-work/europe/greece/

So far we are assessing the needs of 7 beneficiaries who we will cover essential needs for, through your generous funding. Among them is a family with 7 children whose kitchen has been destroyed. The mother is cooking in a simple camper cooker, which is not only difficult for such a large family, but also very dangerous. We have agreed to buy them a new stove by the end of this month, as this is what they listed as their primary need.

However, during our work we have also seen a number of requests that do not fulfill our criteria, mainly for medical support. It is heartbreaking to see so many families still struggling. 

In solidarity,

Mado Baboula

Nov 6, 2018

Working on establishing bonds!

Our french language section
Our french language section

Dear friends,

In our last report we were happy to announce that we got given a space by the Municipality of Athens to temporarily use for our project. We got to work and very quickly set up a small multilingual library, with more than 3,500 books in more than 10 languages (Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, English, French, Greek, German etc). There is a space designed for children, filled with wonderful children's books and games, a space for showing films, for reading, for working, for socialising. Everyone keeps saying how cozy and warm it feels to be here which is an enormous reward for our efforts! Slowly but surely, we are establishing stronger bonds with the community.  

We have this space until April and we are truly making the most of it. We are offering English lessons to refugees twice a week and we will soon start giving Greek lessons, too. We have regular workshops for children and narrations of stories in different languages. We host social evenings with live music, where musicians from the camps play together with local musicians, we host film screenings for the unaccompanied minors who live in the shelters nearby and we arrange activity filled visits to the library for the Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi and Kurdish refugee children who are going to Greek school. The space is full every day and we couldn't be happier! 

We have recruited three more wonderful volunteers, Jenny, Juliette and Issa, so now we can have the space open all days of the week! We have also started cataloguing our collection, which is a slow process but a most important one! 

At the same time we are preparing for our next campaign. Knowing that this wonderful space is only available to us for just a few more months means that we must be ready to move to a permanent location this spring. We need to make sure that this vibrant community that is being built around the library has somewhere to go when this programme ends. 

Before I go back to work, I am sending you some photos of our cozy little library and a huge, huge thank you! If we have managed to get this far it's only because we have you standing by our side!

In solidarity,

Ioanna Nissiriou

Co-founder of We Need Books 

You might recognise Hala, second to the right!
You might recognise Hala, second to the right!
Nasroudin looking for children
Nasroudin looking for children's books in Pashto
Nov 1, 2018

First steps!

Dear donors!

Our project to help rebuild the homes lost in the fire in Athens has taken off!

We have set up a schedule according to which we anticipate to deliver the expected results by the end of February.

October, as the first month of implementation, has been spent on preparation and research. More concretely, we have appointed a project manager, who has so far read the literature involved in the issue at hand, mainly reports, articles and what has been done so far by the government and other organizations in order to help those who suffered losses in the area and to identify possible gaps.

We are currently contacting the municipalities of the areas where most homes have been destroyed –wholly or partly- as well as groups of local citizens who have taken similar initiatives in an effort to explore the most opportune ways to take part in allocating the support offered by you. November, as month two of the project will focus on deciding the synergies that will ensure the better coordination of the funds and the decision on the methodology to be used in locating those homes that we can help in the most appropriate and effective way.

We have also scheduled for any legal matters included in the process to be cleared out during that same period.

With your continuous support you are enabling us to work efficiently and fulfill your expectations!

In solidarity,

Mado Baboula

 
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