Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support

by Echo100plus
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support
Attika wildfires 2018: Recovery support

The disastrous fires that hit Attica's coastal region in July 2018 have left the area devastated and its population in deep shock. With many lives lost and homes destroyed, communal life has come to a total standstill, Echo100Plus in collaboration with Desmos Non-profit Foundation has completed the reconstruction and furnishing of playgrounds in the afflicted municipalities that were either completely destroyed or severely affected by the fires.

In the context of urban and regional public space, playgrounds are focal points of community life. They provide vital spaces for children to meet, play, exercise, and simply have fun. With children at their centre, neighbourhoods and communities form and bond in and around playgrounds. As the afflicted communities are in immediate need of some positive elements, the reconstruction of playgrounds is a strong symbol of the area's regeneration, especially as we approach the summer months.  

As part of the entire project in the area, through the funds raised for the area the following goods and resources have been donated:

  • Respiratory face masks to volunteers and rescue workers operating and/or living in the afflicted area. In total, 308 masks with 616 filters costing approx.  €5,000
  • Fuel to volunteers of the Social Services Dept of Marathonas Municipality, that covered transfer expenses, aid relief and food provision to afflicted households houses. The total budget dispensed €3,000.
  • Long-life nutritional products donated to the Holy Ascension Church in Rafina, and the local soup kitchen
  • 4 professional refrigerators to the Social Grocery and Social Pharmacy of Marathonas Municipality, and the local branch of  “The Smile of the Child” organization
  • 150 freshly-cooked whole meals to Marathonas Municipality’s Social Services

Besides essential goods we have offered:

  • 5 laptops to the Lyreio Children’s Institution, to replace laptops destroyed by the wildfire, together with the facilities of the Institution
  • Household electrical appliances (kitchens, refrigerators, dishwashers, TVs and small appliances) for the afflicted families and households that have been forced to find new homes or furnish their homes in the area

We thank you for your trust and support to reverse the damages of this tragedy, and we are proud of the help that we were able to provide together. 

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On July 23rd, 2018, wildfire erupted in the Southern Penteli area, afflicting the Rafina, Neos Voutzas and Mati areas, leaving behind 100 casualties and burning through burning 5.000.000 square meters of residential and forest land. 

Since the first hours of the wildfires aftermath, we have been present in the area participating in NGO and residents’ networks, communicating closely with municipal and local authorities, and providing help ad hoc, while evaluating long-term impact projects that contribute to the area’s recovery.

For this project we are collaborating with Desmos Non-Profit Foundation, a Greek organization that guarantees: 

  • Commitment to transparency, accountability and professionalism
  • Ability to identify and deliver a project that provides long-term support to children, families and local communities healing from the tragic fires
  • Efficiency, in order to create maximum social value

Placing children and families at the core of our project’s scope, the playgrounds’ reconstruction in the burnt areas was identified as the best way to help the community heal. Therefore, we have designed a project that will completely reconstruct or renovate playgrounds that have been completely burnt down or have been rendered unsafe for use. 

The East Attica project, thanks to your valuable support, will produce at least 4 state-of-the-art playgrounds in the Marathon municipality, fully compliant with EU safety and quality standards, that feature playground equipment accessible by all children, including those with disabilities, safety tiles, energy-saving solar panel lighting, faucet, and benches, as well as a reforested landscape. 

Our project has begun with the reconstruction of the first playground in N. Voutzas and is expected to be completed by June 2019.  

 

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Dear GG -Team, Generous Donors and Supporters!

Since our last report from mid-August, the refugee population on the island of Leros has risen from 782 to 992. Newcomers are either referrals from other overcrowded island camps (the Hotspots) orchestrated by the authorities or direct arrivals from Turkey by boat.  Proof enough, that the refugee crisis is still ongoing, even if much of the world’s attention has shifted elsewhere. The infamous Hotspots - located on the Greek islands close to the Turkish border - remain, despite regular public outcries and promises of relief, outrageously overcrowded, tolerating inhumane living conditions for thousands of refugees and asylum seekers.

By running our HUB at full steam, we try our best to improve the lives of the people in our care and defuse a potentially critical situation on the island of Leros. The attendance of students at the HUB remains at full capacity. We have recently said goodbye to some of our long-term students who, after many months of waiting, received clearance to leave the island for the mainland and a new future. Unfortunately, we also witnessed several deportations of people whose asylum applications had been rejected. We register new students for our language, IT- and other educational and recreational classes every day. The ECHO-team remains committed to its mission to make the lives of refugees stranded on Leros as tolerable and meaningful as possible.

In addition to our educational and recreational services at the HUB, our organisation is the main provider of clothes for the residents of the camp. Every three to four months we distribute a mixture of second-hand and new clothes to the residents of the Hotspot. Our volunteers put in hundreds of hours in preparation for this: receiving, sorting, counting 10,000+ items of clothing, heavy lifting and transportation of boxes from the warehouse to the distribution point (our "boutique") to provide a choice of clothes to men, women and children. This also requires the HUB and all its programs to be shut down for two weeks, to make time and space for this major logistical operation, involving a lot of driving (over 450 km) to transport residents to and from the distribution, working with a tightly timed schedule and allocated slot-system.  Having just completed one of these distributions, we are already in the midst of organising the next distribution of warm jackets and shoes to prepare the residents for the cold winter months.

What else is new? We finally managed to formalize our IT- classes by offering their completion with an IT-certificate - ECDL and Equal Skills. We are putting the final touches to the second edition of 'ZINE', an intercultural art and literature magazine created by residents and volunteers. Three of our most talented HUB students have enrolled in a full University scholarship at Deree College in Athens. Some of our students have found employment with international organisations, working as translators. And the ECHO-team keeps growing! We are constantly surrounded and supported by the most dedicated and hardworking volunteers, without whom we would not be able to continue our work. And thanks to our stable professional staff we keep providing quality teaching and certificates to those who aspire to receive them. 

Thank you, team, and thank you, donors, for your ongoing support and solidarity! 


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    Organization Information

    Echo100plus

    Location: Vienna - Austria
    Website:
    Project Leader:
    Gabriella Herberstein
    Vienna, Vienna Austria

    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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