With your donations and with a fund of $30,000 we received for this project we have been able to provide 24 families with materials to repair sections of their homes that were damaged in the fire of August 2018, and to replace furniture and appliances that were completely destroyed. This relieved a lot of the financial pressure the families were under and allowed them to returned to a sense of normalcy.
It has been a humbling experience working alongside people who experienced the devastating effects of the fire. We would like to thank you for standing by their side during the difficult year that followed.
The time has come to close this project and carry on with our main work, which is providing Athens with a multilingual library.
On the 23rd of July 2018 a devastating fire claimed the lives of 102 people and destroyed hundreds of houses.
With your help and with a fund of $30,000 we received, we were able to provide 20 families whose homes were partially destroyed with the necessary equipment and materials to make their homes habitable again. We were able to buy stoves and refridgerators, tiles and paint, children's desks and beds.
Your contributions have made a very big difference to the lives of the 68 adults and children who have benefited from this project.
Nearing the end of the project we are happy to inform you that our collaboration with Praktiker Hellas, the big home chainstore that has been with us -and the people whose life and property have been affected immensely- from the very beginning, providing goods at a discounted price, has continued unceasingly.
Moreover, we have finalized our collaboration on the field with Caritas Hellas, the Greek branch of the international Catholic organization, which have helped us connect with particular people whose needs have ranked very high up in the spectrum of needs and who have been beneficiaries of the Caritas psychological support program in the area.
However, this program has concluded in the end of March. We Need Books were the last to collaborate with the wonderful people of Caritas with whom future joint endeavors have been discussed already.
The 10 families referred to us by Caritas received 500 euro each in the form of a prepaid purchase card that is used for home equipment although it was more than obvious that the financial needs were much higher.
All the beneficiaries have provided us with the necessary documents proving their current situation. Photographs of the improvements made with the use of the prepaid cards have been asked to be sent to us as soon as the purchases are made. However, we were reluctant to ask for their own photographs -meaning faces- for reasons that can easily be understood.
Despite the program coming to an end, we are still looking to make good use of the remaining sum and are going back to double the assistance one of our first beneficiaries received – a family with 7 members- as well as two more families that have come to our attention and we feel we can accommodate. Should any amount remain from the grant, we will cover more needs of the ten aforementioned families.
We are in the middle of our project and are on ongoing collaboration with the Municipality of Marathonas, the area where most destruction was caused in the blaze of July 2018. In particular, we are working with the head of the Welfare Department of the Municipality in terms of accepting referrals. We have made clear our aspiration to help families and/or individuals with most vulnerable backgrounds or that find it difficult to acquire full help from other sources.
We are continuing our collaboration with the Terre des Hommes NGO (the Greek branch) http://www.terredeshommes.org/ who proceed to referrals through their programme named ANAKTO -where beneficiaries from the area can find psychological support for free- within which they detect also practical needs. Not having meeting such needs in their scope, they direct them to us.
So far we are assessing the needs of 7 beneficiaries who we will cover essential needs for, through your generous funding. Among them is a family with 7 children whose kitchen has been destroyed. The mother is cooking in a simple camper cooker, which is not only difficult for such a large family, but also very dangerous. We have agreed to buy them a new stove by the end of this month, as this is what they listed as their primary need.
However, during our work we have also seen a number of requests that do not fulfill our criteria, mainly for medical support. It is heartbreaking to see so many families still struggling.
Our project to help rebuild the homes lost in the fire in Athens has taken off!
We have set up a schedule according to which we anticipate to deliver the expected results by the end of February.
October, as the first month of implementation, has been spent on preparation and research. More concretely, we have appointed a project manager, who has so far read the literature involved in the issue at hand, mainly reports, articles and what has been done so far by the government and other organizations in order to help those who suffered losses in the area and to identify possible gaps.
We are currently contacting the municipalities of the areas where most homes have been destroyed –wholly or partly- as well as groups of local citizens who have taken similar initiatives in an effort to explore the most opportune ways to take part in allocating the support offered by you. November, as month two of the project will focus on deciding the synergies that will ensure the better coordination of the funds and the decision on the methodology to be used in locating those homes that we can help in the most appropriate and effective way.
We have also scheduled for any legal matters included in the process to be cleared out during that same period.
With your continuous support you are enabling us to work efficiently and fulfill your expectations!
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