Long Overdue Update

I have struggled to find my words since returning to Lesvos a few weeks ago. I apologize for the lack of communication, but hope most of you have seen the updates via facebook. I will do my best to share a brief overview of the past weeks with  you now:

Our first days on the island were spent unloading aid from the mainland, delivering the aid to the camps in need, distributing inside Moria Camp with EuroRelief:

We have spent the past weeks visiting camps and squats, accessing needs, fundraising, purchase bulk aid, and filling gaps where we can. We have delivered van loads of produce to Pikpa Camp, setup a shower and purchased bulk cleaning supplies in order to promote proper hygienic care, ordered and delivered 600 pairs of thermals to Kara Tepe Camp, purchased school supplies for the community center in Mytilini, purchased 1,600 pairs of underwear…

No matter how much we accomplish each day, it doesn’t feel like enough. The needs on the island are endless. As long as there are people living in flimsy summer tents with harsh winter conditions, there will always be more work to be done.

We are now working on a winter shoe drive in order to provide shoes for every resident inside Moria Camp: [taken from my facebook post]

“The snow has melted here in Lesvos, but the rain continues. Nearly everyday has been filled with heavy rains and high winds since we returned a few weeks ago, yet we continue to see children and grown men walking around in sandals and crocs.

The humanitarian teams on the ground are collaborating in order to provide winter shoes for each and every person on the island. Together with Lifting Hands International and Humans Humanity, we have prepared a winter pack (boots, gloves, socks) for 800 people. This fills the gap at both No Borders Kitchen and Kara Tepe Camp.

We are now collecting 4,000 pairs of winter shoes for Moria Camp. The teams have sourced pallets of high quality winter boots from Athens for 14.50 Euros per pair. There are only 80 left at this price. Donate now to help us order the remaining 80 pairs.

To collect these 80 pairs, we must raise: 1,160 Euros = 1,245.78 USD.

We then have a distributor selling high quality boots for 16.00 Euros per pair. This is only 17.18 USD per pair. Can you help us reach the goal of keeping all the toes on the island warm and dry for the harsh winter months? The teams on the ground are mobilizing right now, and it is your time to help make this mission possible.”

Our efforts here continue,  yet we feel pulled back to our Yazidi’s on the mainland. We look forward to being surrounded by their love, compassion, and generosity. After a few days back ‘home’, we head to Serbia. I don’t know if I have seen conditions as bad as what is happening in Belgrade, or in the official camps in Serbia… Frostbite, scabies, people living in the streets and abandoned buildings, lack of proper winter clothing.

The needs continue, as will our efforts. It pains me to witness such suffering, at the same time our president officially closed our doors. The reality is we are losing lives due to the border closures. A man from Egypt, as well as a man from Syria lost their lives here in Lesvos over the past week due to the cold winter conditions… It is a time for our collective society to stand together for the rights of those fleeing from war and violence. I hope Trump’s executive ban brings awareness and eventually justice. I am inspired to see the people of the United States coming together to support those effected by the ban, and I pray that momentum continues to support the refugees worldwide.

 

 A news clip the efforts of our team:

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=42998684


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