Oct 15, 2020

Moria reduced to ashes: Our response

Walking around the burned Moria camp
Walking around the burned Moria camp

Our primary objective since initiating this project has always been to give full support to one of the most vulnerable groups of the refugee community in Lesvos, the unaccompanied minors. Our emergency operations have been developing since the very first day, continuously adapting to the ever-changing circumstances and challenges.

 In March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, Moria was placed under a temporary lockdown, and the need for mental and physical care of these minors had significantly increased.

Better Days responded quickly and effectively, as part of our Covid-19 emergency response for UAMs, by dispatching:

  • 16453 packs/pcs of hygiene and PPE items including over 13000 masks and 500 gloves.
  • 721 packs/pcs of medication; antibiotics, prescriptions, and other essential items like mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
  • 2169 packs of vitamin C and other multivitamins.
  • 1340 packs/pcs of wound care products and medical supplies.
  • 3430 energy fruit bars.
  • 178 travel bags used for relocation/reunification purposes. 

All items were distributed to minors throughout the lockdown utilising various methods like for example outreach initiatives, to the RIC minors’ office, and most importantly to Minors Clinic (Health Point Foundation) the primary medical provider to UAMs of which our partnership had been strengthening. 

We delivered medical supplies but also supported them by building capacity internally by helping to manage budgets and to develop internal protocols and policies. 

On the 9th of September, following the total devastation of Moria Camp due to fire, Better Days worked tirelessly to ensure the immediate identification and transfer of UAMs to a safe location by:

  • Holding overnight communication and systematic check-ins with minors during the incident.
  • Deploying outreach teams within the remains of Moria camp to identify missing UAMs.
  • Helped to set up a UAM Field Medical Clinic and equipped it with PPE and wound care products which had the capabilities to provide urgent medical care and mental health monitoring to children that were suffering from respiratory issues due to smoke inhalation, burns, a variety of physical wounds, and mental issues.
  • Coordinated between EODY (Greek Health Ministry), minor clinic and Iliaktida-UNICEF to procure COVID-19 tests to over 300 UAMs.
  • Assisted in crowd control and provided French translation in the minors field clinic at Tapuat. 
  • Setup ad hoc Helpdesk 24/7 where volunteers and NGO workers could text us and request support to identify a UAM and arrange transport to a safe location. 

Over 300 UAMs were identified by or with BDs support within 24hrs. Nonetheless, we received over 85 requests through our helpdesk between the 10th-20th of September.

406 unaccompanied children no longer have to live in Moria camp after being transferred to a safe location on the Greek mainland. 

We couldn't be happier to see them moved to a better place. Take a minute to celebrate this significant win with us.  

Your contributions have helped us support unaccompanied minors on Lesvos during their most vulnerable moments. You should feel proud of the impact you helped to create in the same way we are extremely thankful for it.

We remain committed to cater to the needs of the lone boys and girls in Greece by providing access to legal and emergency aid for UAMs and youth. 

Preparing some deliveries
Preparing some deliveries
Delivering PPE and medications the day of the fire
Delivering PPE and medications the day of the fire
Outreach teams looking for UAMs after the fire
Outreach teams looking for UAMs after the fire
Working together with the Minors Clinic
Working together with the Minors Clinic

Links:

Sep 25, 2020

Summer operations snapshot

Outreach team looking for UAMs in the olive groves
Outreach team looking for UAMs in the olive groves

This report aims to give you a quick snapshot of activities implemented in the summer months before the fire reduced Moria camp to ashes. 

Throughout June and July, we executed a two-phase scabies prevention program and the third phase of our MIRE Emergency response outreach exercise. 

There were 340 unaccompanied minors sheltered in sections A & B of Moria camp. 

Scabies was an ongoing, unresolved issue that was flagged by medical teams. A lack of coordination and capacity amongst actors resulted in a widespread epidemic of scabies amongst the residents. Attempts have been made in the past to rectify this issue to no avail. 

Via a coordinated effort involving 9 different organisations we: 

  • Distributed 1297 clothing packs
  • Carried out health promotion sessions
  • Administered medication
  • Sprayed the area

340 UAMs were successfully treated. For the first time in the camp's history, we achieved a 100% success rate, making the impossible, possible. 

Meanwhile, our emergency response team directed their attention and efforts towards the 600 UAMs residing outside the camp in the Olive groves. 

Upon the request of RIC Minors Office, Better Days was invited, along with other actors, to participate in locating 150 UAMs eligible for a new relocation program initiated by a ‘coalition of the willing’ to 12 European countries.

Better Days seized the opportunity, not only to support in the relocation program but also to map, identify and re-register those minors not eligible for the immediate relocation program. We deployed multiple outreach teams to check in with those that remained living in the hazardous and undignified conditions of the olive groves. This gave us an opportunity to update them on their legal processes as well as refer those in need to medical actors. 

Our expertise and experience of outreach work resulted in the team finding 12 previously unidentified vulnerable children and 4 unaccompanied minors declared missing by the authorities. 

Because of your donations to the Emergency Response calls on GlobalGiving, we were able to react swiftly to the situation. All this would not be possible without your support.

Identifying and providing services to unaccompanied minors requires a holistic multi-faceted approach and we are committed to continuing to do so. While we are still facing challenging times, we remain committed to offer the best possible support to UAMs and youths residing in Greece.

Next month we will update you with regards to our interventions throughout August and September.

 

Our team on the ground in Lesvos,

Together for Better Days.

Children were lost spread across the camp
Children were lost spread across the camp
Teamwork while performing the scabies exercise
Teamwork while performing the scabies exercise
Everybody had his part during the exercise
Everybody had his part during the exercise
Over 340 minors were treated
Over 340 minors were treated

Links:

Jun 5, 2020

Despite COVID-19, we're still on the ground

A statement from an unaccompanied minor
A statement from an unaccompanied minor

While COVID-19 has disrupted our normal operations, we pride ourselves on being agile and adapting to changing needs on the ground and across other locations.

As of mid-May, around 700 unaccompanied children live in Moria Refugee Camp, of whom approximately 300  live in its outskirts in squalid and unsafe conditions. 250 of them are waiting for their family reunification cases to be completed so they can soon be with their loved ones. 

Thanks to your donations, The ‘Themida Legal Intervention’ program administered a total of 70 family reunification cases (and 3 asylum cases), from which 9 have received a positive answer. Since March, 3 family reunification cases for Sweden, 2 for Finland, 1 for Norway, 1 for Holland, and 1 for Germany ended successfully, and so far a total of 11 DNA tests have been submitted and 4 results were received, of which 3 were positive. 6 other DNA cases are soon to be started.

Better Days has also supported advocating for the relocation of the unaccompanied children residing in Lesvos and the rest of the Greek islands.

Despite the subsequent set-backs of the COVID-19 crisis, on-line psychological support sessions became a reality: unaccompanied minors in Moria Camp, Athens and around Europe are receiving emotional support through periodic video calls to ensure they have a safe space to decompress and learn mechanisms to cope with their uncertain realities as best as they can. Our PSS director delivered a total of 57 sessions since the pandemic started. 

At the same time, we have begun to provide logistical and distribution support to the health response confronting this and continue to support our local refugee and host communities in need.

Since March, the Better Day's team on Lesvos has assembled and delivered more than seventy different pharmaceutical items, including PPE to medical actors and vulnerable members of the community.

A total of 41 deliveries containing 516 medical products, 869 boxes of drugs, more than 200 clothing packs, games, or hygiene items as well as personal protective equipment including 127770 single-use masks, 43850 gloves, 27,6 liter of disinfection, 91 kg of washing powder, and 28,8 liter of soap, have been dispatched as part of our Covid-19 emergency response operations. 

Because we received your donations for Emergency Response calls on GlobalGiving, we have been able to react quickly to the situation. All this would not be possible without your help.

 We will continue to help by humanizing the distribution of aid to affected communities and to support children’s rights to family reunification and relocation to other EU member states.

Happiness after completing one of the DNA tests
Happiness after completing one of the DNA tests
PSS virtual support to unaccompanied minors
PSS virtual support to unaccompanied minors
PPE equipment for medical actors & UAMs
PPE equipment for medical actors & UAMs
A statement from an unaccompanied minor
A statement from an unaccompanied minor
Our staff working on our PPE and medical inventory
Our staff working on our PPE and medical inventory

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.