The We Are Here project started out very small – we were friends who met volunteering on one of the arrival islands and who decided to set up an educational project in mainland Greece when the borders were first closed, leaving thousands of refugees stranded, with children out of school, lives on hold, and futures unknown.
Our project was accepted inside the camp of Nea Kavala, in northern Greece, in May 2016 by both UNHCR and the military there. With help from friends inside and outside the camp, we quickly built and opened the We Are Here community centre. Since then we have been providing a place for children and adults to access education and recreation, and feel a sense of routine, security and validation.
Since the closure of the huge unofficial camp of Idomeni and the opening of smaller, tucked away camps, the refugees who reach Greece are no longer splashed across the headlines, but the overseas wars and persecutions have not stopped, and people are still arriving – risking their lives for the chance of safety in Europe.
Many of the people here have been through extremely traumatic experiences and are now faced with a lengthy wait in anonymous conditions. A lack of support, routine, information and occupation can take a big toll on people’s health and wellbeing.
With a library, study area and classrooms, a women’s space and an open community space, We Are Here creates an opportunity to learn, create, socialize, share, and build knowledge, confidence and connections. Despite functioning inside a military-ran camp, this project remains very independent, and we have been able to set up and run the centre in a way that takes into account the voices of those on the ground.
Welcome to our page. Stay a while. Read more about the situation in Greece, about our project and the different ways in which you can help out.