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 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 feel a sense of routine, security and validation.
Many of these people have been through extremely traumatic experiences and, having made the difficult decision to risk their lives for the chance of safety in Europe, they are now faced with a lengthy wait – potentially over a year – in anonymous, degrading conditions. Since the closure of Idomeni, they are no longer splashed across the headlines, but split up into smaller groups and tucked out of sight in military camps. It is the complete lack of meaningful support, routine, information and occupation which now risks taking one of the biggest tolls on their health.
We Are Here! creates an opportunity to learn and engage in activities, attend courses and workshops, and also be an integral part of the running of the centre and activities since from the very beginning it has been a collaborative effort. 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.
In early August we also established a small mobile project inside Serres camp in order to continue working with the Yazidi community who moved there.
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.