"Asylum seekers fleeing war or abuse shouldn't have to hide in their tents to feel safe in Europe" (Eva Cosse, Human Right's Watch). Today, more than 1,300 women stranded in Moria refugee camp are under constant threat of gender-based violence and sexual harassment. Often, these women are forced to hide or avoid going to the bathroom in fear for their own safety. We want to continue offering 300 refugee women self-defense training and yoga so they can feel empowered to stand up for themselves.
Approximately 15,000 refugees are stranded on Lesvos. The overcrowded and chaotic conditions in Moria camp, hosting approximately 13,000 people, pose constant threats to the physical and mental health of more than 4,500 refugee women - especially those who are single and/or underage - who reside in the camp. Daily, they are targeted, harassed and intimidated, even when using the toilet and washing facilities. Security arrangements are not sufficient to protect women in Moria.
We aim to deliver an empowerment program through self-defence training and yoga classes to 300 refugee women in Moria, prioritizing single women and unaccompanied minors. Sessions will be delivered by professional female instructors, qualified to teach self-defence and yoga, including self-protection and self-awareness. This effort would not only empower the refugee women to feel stronger but also to help protect themselves, and enhance their self-confidence dealing with their own hardships.
Delivering empowerment programs to refugee women stranded on the island would not only reduce the risks to their safety, but also offer valuable skills that will help them in the future, wherever that might be. The self-defense and yoga classes uniquely help create strong basis for healthy empowered self-growth, which will immensely benefit the women in Moria, both long term residents and new arrivals. We are hoping to be able to empower at least 300 women over the course of the next 3 months.