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There has been lots of news from Nea Kavala as we attempt to attend to the needs of the ever-fluctuating refugee community within the camp. Last week was particularly hot as a heatwave smothered Greece with temperatures above 40 C. The camp residents weathered it considerably well, despite the frequent power cuts which occur due to an excess of electricity being used in the containers to cool themselves down. In desperation, some people have constructed little swimming pools using tarpaulins, or even by borrowing the large wheeled rubbish bins around camp. We Are Here finds it unbearably hot, but we have the means to escape the heat and drive to the lake on our day off; for them it is not so easy.

Two weeks ago was the final performance of our theatre group’s big show ‘Trees Never Get Tired’. The show included refugees, some local Greeks and two of our We Are Here volunteers, and was created by Paramythades, our visiting Spanish theatre company. Despite numerous practical difficulties like languages, possible spaces to practice, the heat and all of this taking place during Ramadan, the group produced an incredible play and performed it in the Polykastro theatre, accompanied on cello and guitar by a new Spanish-Syrian duo of Pau and Aziz.

The play was based around a blue bench and the very different people who sat on it; the concept showed the great diversity of the actors involved and the many possible social interactions that may occur on a bench in Europe. We are so proud of the hard work put into this production, and the outcome was incredible. Afterwards we all celebrated with a huge Greek dinner in our local infamous restaurant, Giorgos, and the dancing and singing went on late into the night. Huge thank you to Paramythades for making it all possible!

In other news this week, extremely high winds ravaged the camp and this was too much for the Women’s Space roof. The tarpaulin roof was blown about so badly that much of the inside layer came up and the insulation gathered inside the roof layers, threatening to fall through. We closed the Space for safety, and the women are learning English in the Community Centre, while other Women’s Space activities are on hold. Team Get Sh*t Done, who have supported us with construction work many times in the past, have kindly agreed to take off the existing dangerous roof, and instead create a solid roof, while reinforcing the existing walls against this extra weight. Thanks to Get Sh*t Done for this much-needed help. We look forward to a stronger Women’s Space roof soon!

Last night Nea Kavala had a special visit from a Catalan group of Clowns Without Borders who performed an amazing show to the delight of the residents! There was classic slapstick, impressions, magic, audience participation, juggling, fireworks, acrobatics: a mini circus performed by three people! Experienced clowns performing one-off shows like this help create good memories of people’s time in the camp, and a little comic relief is not to be underestimated. The children enjoyed it of course, but many of the youth and adults appreciated the skill involved, as well as the comedic slapstick. Many thanks to Clowns Without Borders for an amazing show!

Thank you all for reading and supporting We Are Here with so many generous donations! Without this support, none of this would be possible