Ritsona is one of Greece's largest refugee camps. Over the past year residents have endured prison-like walls erected around the camp, cuts to cash and food assistance and more barriers to accessing asylum. We provide dedicated safe spaces for children, women, and youth, and a wide range of sport, recreational, and educational activities to support their mental health and overall well-being. These opportunities gather, play and learn allows the community to release trauma induced stress.
Government support for refugees and asylum seekers - including food and cash support - has been cut. At the same time, harsher policy changes have made it more difficult to claim asylum and more likely to be rejected. Moreover, an imposing security wall makes the environment prison-like, adding to the air of dejection in the camp.
Since 2016 we have been providing safe spaces and psychosocial support to the residents of Ritsona Camp with a focus on those aged 3-25. Our sports and educational activities and safe spaces provide an antidote to the boredom and anxiety that prevails amongst many of the residents. Our activities include language classes, photography, football and volleyball tournaments, health awareness sessions, music classes, including some that are reserved exclusively for women and girls.
Lighthouse Relief works to foster a humane, supportive environment where refugees can access a community and muster hope for the future. Beyond offering opportunities for creative self-expression, learning new skills, and sports, the activities we offer in Ritsona camp support the psychosocial well-being of residents who are in a highly stressful environment. They help prepare refugees for eventual integration into their host societies in a manner that is accountable and culturally sensitive.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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