Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece

by PROJECT ELEA AMKE
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece
Offer food & education for 1000 refugees in Greece

Project Elea has been asked by the Greek government to seize its operations inside Eleonas Camp in July. The government wants to close the camp, their plan includes transferring some of the residents to remote locations to hide them away from public view in the capital, making a large number of them homeless in the street and arresting those who are considered “illegal”.

The majority of the residents are refusing to leave and by denying access to all the organizations that were supporting the community the government is putting additional pressure on the residents to leave the camp. Cash support, food distributions social & psychologival support, educational opportunities have also stopped. In August, riot police and special units raided the camp on several occasions at 5am and used excessive force against those who stood in their way both men and women in front of terrified children. Despite these “Fortress Europe” practices more than 1000 refugees still live at Eleonas Camp and are determined to fight for their rights of being treated humanely, they are asking for papers, health care, housing and school for their children.

Although Project Elea is no longer present inside the camp it continues to support the community in different ways for example by running a 2-week day camp at a beautiful environmental center in Athens for 40 children from the camp. It was a unique and wonderful experience for the kids helping them forget the harsh reality of life at the camp, several children said it was the best time they had in their lives.

We are also supporting some of the most vulnerable families in the camp through a targeted fundraising campaign with cash, food and other necessary items to help them get through the hard times until they find other solutions. We sincerely thank everyone who is making our work possible through their generous donations and hope for the best outcome for the refugees at Eleonas Camp.

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Boxing Practise!
Boxing Practise!

The last three months in Eleonas have seen a wide range of activities and educational events delivered by Project Elea and our partners .

One of the highlights during this period was an incredible Sports day designed to suit all of the residents of the camp. The organisations Yoga and Sport with Refugees and HipHop4Hope visited the camp and facilitated a wide range of differnt sports 'taster' sessions, including kickboxing, taekwondo, acrobatics, crossfit, hiphop dancing, yoga and dance. The sun was shining and it was a powerful community event providing access to instructors and training opportunities for the residents of the camp.

This month, Murathenes, a musical exchange program came for their long waited visit to Athens. They recorded beautiful songs which both groups have been practising for months with the children from the camp and also completed an incredibly successful field trip to Agistri island with the volunteers from Project Elea. this collaboration has been fruitful and the children from the camp has what was quoted as 'the best week of our life!'

For International womens week the educational team designed an exciting curriculum of activities and also created a dynamic womens activity schedule for two days; including womens health education, dancing, art, beauty, music, a language class enrollment push and excercise classes. The women's group is in full attendance with 25-30 regular attendees, building connections between cultures and languages.

Due to the generosity of donations, the team was able to buy and distribute 2 tonnes of fresh fruit to every household at the camp and provide fully inclusive hygiene packs to every resident.

The Boxing Practise
The Boxing Practise
Fresh Fruit distribution
Fresh Fruit distribution
Murathenes Music program
Murathenes Music program
International day for Women
International day for Women
International day for Women
International day for Women
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Little School
Little School

The autumn and winter seasons have been harsh to the Eleonas community with many people living outside in tents and makeshift temporary structures built from wood and tarpaulin. The large team of international and resident volunteers worked extremely hard on a daily basis in distributing hygiene and food items and delivering the 12 daily hours of language classes.

All of the adults and children receiving language classes have had their education disrupted in their lives, in some way during their travels to Greece, and due to COVID-19 restrictions. Project Elea has provided classes for the whole of 2021 enabling access to safe learning spaces for the residents of Eleonas.

Not only did the project provide language classes but also the re-introduction of the Teen Time activity, Women’s group, Men’s group, Conversation club for both Men and women and Little School after the turbulence and difficulties introduced in the community with the COVID-19 restrictions and overcrowding. Every day over 200 residents of the camp had high quality language classes with all 2300 residents receiving weekly hygiene items, clothing, school supplies and dried food donations.

In September 2021 Project Elea team repainted our main school and the clothing distribution container, creating a much more ambient and colourful envirnoment for the residents accessing the project services.
In October 2021, the Project Elea team worked with the IOM to clear the tents and pallets from the football pitch and give it back to the community. These efforts continued in December with the transfer of people from temporary shelters into accommodation containers inside the camp. The vulnerable communities who were living in waterlogged, flooded and cold structures were able to have much better accommodation before the winter cold set in. The transfer of residents into accommodation provided another opportunity for Project Elea’s volunteers to distribute welcome packs and hygiene items to the newly moved families.

In November we celebrated Halloween in the camp. More than 100 children participated in games, face painting, haunted house and a scavenger hunt. 

December also saw the build up, preparation and final Christmas party celebrations where 300 children received beautifully prepared education packs and toys from Project Elea’s very own Baba Noel. 

The day before the Christmas event the volunteers prepared all of the gifts in the Elea House for the next day. That evening, Project Elea’s storage container burnt down due to a temporary shelter next to it catching fire from badly connected heating units. We lost all of our supplies in one night.

 

2021 has been one of the most challenging years for the Eleonas Community, with cash cards being cut and people waiting in limbo and living under the national poverty line, we have witnessed residents slowly starving and turning to other means to feed their children. With the support from GlobalGiving and our donors we have been able to maintain some form of stability with hygiene items, dried food and education in an increasingly challenging environment. The infrastructural changes at the end of 2021 have provided a glimmer of hope in the fact that many of the residents who were living outside are now homed and communal spaces are opening up in the camp for future community events and activities. We have hope for 2022, we aim to bring light, events, community led projects and new energy to the community.

 

 

 

Hygiene Item Distribution
Hygiene Item Distribution
Elea House Mural
Elea House Mural
Clearance of temporary shelters
Clearance of temporary shelters
Deconstruction of shelters
Deconstruction of shelters
Storage container fire
Storage container fire
Preparation of hygiene and food packs
Preparation of hygiene and food packs
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Organization Information

PROJECT ELEA AMKE

Location: Nea Smyrni - Greece
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Andreas Ashikalis
Nea Smyrni, Greece
$17,405 raised of $30,000 goal
 
239 donations
$12,595 to go
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