Dear supporters of Movement on the Ground,
We are sending you this report as a temporary conclusion of the Cooking and Conversation program on Lesvos in 2019. As you may have gathered from our previous update, the situation on the island is extremely critical at the moment; the refugee camps house over 10.000 people and new boats are arriving every day. That is why we have decided to suspend the community kitchen program until further notice and focus all our efforts and resources towards emergency response.
In 2019 the Cooking and Conversation program was active on Lesvos. With the support of you and other donors, we kept the community kitchen in the Kara Tepe CampUs up and running. This kitchen provided refugees with a space to prepare their own meals and share them with one another, something which – sadly – is a luxury in the refugee camps.
We are very grateful for your donations! Through your donations, we were able to make a real difference in the lives of refugees on Lesvos. But even though the Cooking and Conversation program will no longer be active (hopefully we can restart it again in the future), we still need your help in these trying times. We will soon set up a GlobalGiving fundraiser for our emergency response, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, you can always donate via our website. Once again, thank you!
With warm regards and gratitude,
Team Movement on the Ground
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
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