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Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece

by Do Your Part, Inc
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece
Share Hope with Refugees at Camp Oinofyta Greece

Since our last update, the Ministry of Migration has re-opened the Oinofyta camp as a transitional camp. Vulnerable asylum seekers from the island detention centers are being moved to the camp while they await housing from UNHCR. Our Community Center in Dilesi is assisting them as they make the transition to the mainland, and a more independant life. 

Our greatest need is transportation from the camp to the Community Center. We are hoping to raise the funds to provide a daily transport so that these vulnerable people can participate in the activities and services we are offering.

We want to thank you all for the support you have given us over the past two years with this project, and look forward to your continued support for our newest refugee project, “Help Provide Integration for Refugees in Greece.”

 

Sincerely,

 

The Do Your Part Team

Residents being loaded on buses to go to Athens
Residents being loaded on buses to go to Athens

To all of our supporters, this will be the last update for this project. As we said in the last project report, the Greek government decided to close the Oinofyta Camp and on November 6th, it was officially closed.

At the time of closure, there were 546 residents registered in our census. More than half of them were sent to apartments in Athens and the rest were sent to other camps. During our time in Oinofyta, we had over 2450 residents come through the camp. We had 427 volunteers come to work with us directly, and 17 large groups of volunteers ranging in numbers from 12 to 72. We also had the opportunity to work with many other small organizations. The experience was both rewarding and exhausting.

Through the generosity of our supporters we built and furnished eleven dorm rooms, ten bathrooms, three kitchens, a school, teen center, women’s space, mosque, warehouse space, workshop, sewing center, barber/beauty shop, two outdoor shade gardens, a computer center, multi-purpose space, counseling space, a gym space with equipment and a football field.

We ran over 8 kilometers of electrical wiring and wired much of the camp and outbuildings, including the office spaces for UNHCR, IOM and Armando Aid, we provided many truckloads of gravel, replaced the entire roof on the building, built a chicken coop and provided 115 chickens and food and supplies for them.

We were able to purchase food, clothing, hygiene supplies, shoes, jackets, gloves, hats, blankets, sleeping bags, beds, diapers (by the tens of thousands!), baby formula, wipes, toilet paper, tissues and feminine hygiene products. We provided art supplies, refrigerators, cook tops, medicine, train passes for classes in Athens, transportation to doctor appointments, surgical procedures, Greek lessons, computer lessons and English classes. We were able to give every baby born at the camp a new baby kit, complete with all the supplies and clothing they would need for the first six months of life, including a bed.

All of the residents of our camp were able to live with dignity since their physical needs were taken care of.

Now that the camp is closed, we are continuing to honor our mission statement for this project to help the refugee population in Greece as well as the Greek people by working on integration activities. We are providing housing for several past residents and assisting many with learning to navigate the Greek asylum, social, medical and employment systems. To this end, we will be setting up a Community Center to serve the refugee population in the Attika Region of Greece.

We want to thank you all for the support you have given us over the past two years, and look forward to your continued support for our newest refugee project, “Help Support Integration for Refugees in Greece.”

Sincerely, The Do Your Part Team

The
The 'closing team' of volunteers
Residents saying goodbye
Residents saying goodbye
Oinofyta Camp is officially closed
Oinofyta Camp is officially closed
Goodbye
Goodbye
Proud train pass holders - ready for class
Proud train pass holders - ready for class

Hello to all of our friends and supporters,

Fall has arrived and has brought many more changes to the camp and for the residents of Oinofyta. Last week the Ministry of Migration announced that the camp WILL be closing by the end of this year!

This has come as a huge disappointment to us, but we have been anticipating this inevitable decision for a few months. We have a come up with a plan, and with your continued support and financial assistance, we will be able to continue to provide services to our current and former residents. These services will be much more targeted towards integration for them into the Greek society. This is necessary because migration to other countries is, in most cases, no longer available, so integration is essential.

As with everything else we have done here, we have consulted with the residents to find out their needs, and they have asked us to create a Community Center here in Oinofyta. We have found a large building to rent which will provide space for a Community Center where we will still be able to offer Greek lessons, English lessons, Computer classes, a women’s space and some distribution. It will also allow us to move the Oinofyta Wares shop into the space.

Oinofyta Wares began as a social enterprise with the generous donations of several sewing machines and supplies, and now employs 19 residents. These residents work 5 days a week making products from recycled tents, clothing and other items from the old factory. We are in the process of incorporating it as a Greek business. The business is run and managed by the residents themselves. Some of them were trained as tailors back in their home countries and one of them is a clothing designer. Others have learned to sew here in the camp. This business will eventually give those who work there the ability to support themselves and become contributing members of Greek society.

We have been in contact with the local Mayor’s office and he is very supportive of our plan. We will be working with them to provide us assistance in the Community Center with teaching the residents how to navigate the Greek medical and social assistance systems as well as helping them find work.

In the past few months, we have been providing more integration activities and programs for the residents. We hired a teacher to give conversational Greek lessons to the adults. This will be essential to them as they move out into the communities. We have also been purchasing monthly train passes for the residents who are going to Athens to attend classes there. We have residents taking Greek, English and German classes as well as many who are taking computer classes. We are currently providing 57 train passes at a cost of 70 euros each. We are still looking for sponsors for this program. Once the residents are resettled in other locations, these train passes will be invaluable for them to be able to continue to get their education from wherever they are living. Two of our residents have been able to secure employment because they were able to take classes to improve their English enough to become translators.

We have been told that those who do not get offered housing will be transferred to other camps. The residents who are working in the Oinofyta Wares shop will be looking for housing here in the area. We are asking for sponsors to assist these families with their rent so that they can become established here in the area and continue to work. Housing prices here in the Tanagra municipality are much less expensive than Athens. For a family of 6 or less, rent can be as little as €250 (around $300) per month. If you are interested in sponsoring a family for rent, please let us know, and we will give you information on family size and needs.

Much of what we have in Oinofyta as far as supplies and infrastructure will be able to be moved into the new Community Center. Our warehouse will be boxed up and the majority of its contents will be sent to the Pampiraiki warehouse in Athens so that we will still be assisting the refugee and homeless population in Greece. We will utilize some of the items to help supply the homes of the Oinofyta Wares team. We have been given access to a piece of land to place our containers until we can find another organization to donate them to, or sell them to be able to offset the cost of moving everything from the camp.

We will still need volunteers to run the Community Center and we will still need the financial support that we have had in the past so that we can continue to help those who have come here to escape the war and persecution in their own country.

For those of you who follow our activities here, you know that this is a bittersweet time for us. Many of the families have been moved into housing in Athens and there are still more to follow. What we have learned from those who have gone to Athens is, there is no support system in place to help them integrate. They are dropped off at their housing and left to fend for themselves. This is why a Community Center is so vital to them. It will give them support and assistance to learn how to live here in Greece.

We are very grateful for all of those who have supported our work here in the past and look forward to continuing to be able to offer dignity and hope to our residents through your generosity as they make this transition to life in a new country. If you are interested in helping us continue our work and need any further information, please email me at DYPLisa@gmail.com.

We will be closing this project soon and will begin a new project for the Oinofyta Community Center.

As always, please feel free to share this update with those you feel would be interested.

Heading to class with their train passes
Heading to class with their train passes
More happy pass holders
More happy pass holders
Residents working in Oinofyta Wares
Residents working in Oinofyta Wares
Oinofyta Wares products
Oinofyta Wares products
Fresh Vegetable Delivery
Fresh Vegetable Delivery

In the past three months, lots changes have come to our camp here in Oinofyta. The catering that was provided for the residents was discontinued in May. Through the donations from our wonderful supporters, we have been able to make sure that none of our residents are going hungry. We have been able to continue to provide weekly fresh vegetable deliveries and supplemental food packs for each family unit. Thanks to a generous grant from GlobalGiving, we are installing a commercial freezer and two commercial refrigerators so that the large food deliveries can be kept safe in the summer temperatures and we can now provide dairy products and meat.  The new electrical panel has been installed and the units have been ordered for delivery soon.

We have been able to remodel our warehouse space to make it a much friendlier experience for each of our 500 residents. Now they can come for the clothing distribution and actually ‘shop’ for what they need for their families. This gives them a sense of dignity that can’t come when they have to sort through boxes or bins of donations.

Our workshop has outgrown it’s one container and we are moving it to a new location in the camp where we can have two containers with a roof between them so that more of our residents can enjoy making for themselves. The workshop has been a great place for creativity to show through. We have built two beautiful shade areas that are the new social gathering spaces for residents of all ages.

The sewing center is growing in both the number of residents working there as well as the number of people who want to support their work by purchasing the items they make. The generosity of our supporters is allowing them to have the supplies they need to make beautiful, high quality products. The regular routine has been a great way for those who are working there to regain their sense of self-worth.

The women’s space has become the gathering place every afternoon. Our team is providing English classes and other activities for the women so that they can gather and socialize while learning new things. We have regular classes on women’s issues and provide breastfeeding classes and baby care classes.

Our teen center is giving the youth an opportunity to explore their skills and talents with photography workshops, computer classes and other activities provided five days a week.

Our newest project is a child friendly space for the children from age 5 to 12. We are putting a fence in this week and are looking to raise the funds to purchase 2 portable classrooms so that the younger children can have a place to go that is just for them.

We do not know exactly what the future holds for us here, but we are confident that thanks to the generous support of our GlobalGiving donors, we will continue to be able to provide for the needs of our residents!

The New Warehouse shopping space
The New Warehouse shopping space
Some of our Sewing Center workers
Some of our Sewing Center workers
One of our shade spaces
One of our shade spaces
Carpentry workshop
Carpentry workshop

One year in, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Do Your Part has been able to make a huge difference in the lives of the residents of Oinofyta Camp. Our relationship with the Ministry of Migration is strong and they have requested more assistance in taking care of the camp. With your support, we will continue to build more facilities for the community.

In the past year, this is what we have accomplished!

Do Your Part has provided/accomplished the following:
*A school for the children and adults
*3 community cooking spaces
*A Sewing center
*A Barber/beauty shop
*A Mosque
*A Women’s space
*A Teen center
*A Multi-purpose space where we currently do children’s activities and movie nights as well as have scheduled visits from a local team of acupuncturists who provide de-stressing help to the residents.
*We have renovated the first floor to accommodate the single men, allowing the families to be on the main floor.
*We purchased a shower container
*We have replaced/waterproofed the entire roof surface
*We created a warehouse space
*We have installed three containers with 32 computers for computer learning centers.
*We provided 10 washing machines onsite for the community to use.
*We have provided locking doors for the rooms for the families
*We built a chicken coop where the residents work to take care of the flock and the eggs are distributed to the residents
*We have installed and equipped a carpentry shop for the community to use
*We replaced 27+ broken windows
*We have run electricity and placed a power panel to the left side of the camp to power the school
* We have run electricity to the three IOM containers
* We have run electricity and leveled the UNHCR container
* We have run electricity to the four Do Your Part containers
*We provide weekly deliveries of vegetables and dry foods for the residents to cook for themselves
*We have coordinated the deliveries of around €150,000 worth of clothing, hygiene items, bedding, cleaning products, food and other supplies for the residents to use.

Everything that we have done has been done with the best interest of the residents and their safety and comfort in mind. Each thing or space that we have provided thus far has been discussed with the community in one of our weekly community meetings. This is what the residents themselves want to have in their community.
We are looking forward to another great year helping the refugees during this critical time in their lives as we provide hope for a better life ahead.

Building Clothesline poles
Building Clothesline poles
The product of being able to cook for themselves
The product of being able to cook for themselves
Results from the Sewing Center
Results from the Sewing Center

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Do Your Part, Inc

Location: Newport News, VA - USA
Website:
Twitter: @doyourpartorg
Project Leader:
Leslie Teltoe
Newport NEws, VA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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