It’s been a while since we last updated and we’ve had a very full-on January! Over the Christmas period, We Are Here partnered with Drop in the Ocean to provide some special recreational activities for children, adults and women, as well as some English conversation classes. This allowed many members of our team to have a proper break and enjoy some of the festive season with friends and family, returning well-rested with fresh ideas in early January. We’re extremely grateful to Drop for all of their hard work and generosity over this time, and we are pleased to be working closer alongside them because of this positive experience. Looking forward to updating soon on some of our new ideas and collaboration projects! Watch this space!
As the services inside and outside the camp evolve, so too does We Are Here, aiming to best fill the gaps. Now the school-aged children are attending the local Greek schools Monday-Friday, and there is a new educational group providing homework help and Greek and English lessons. So for this age group we have taken a step back, to encourage them to focus on their formal schooling. We have a full weekend programme for them and look forward to those days all the more. This means we have more time and space to focus on other needs.
One project which we are investing more time into is our wonderful library. We now have a librarian volunteer who is adjusting and upgrading some of our systems, such as library cards and digitising the lending system. We’re also extremely grateful to Intersos, who have recently provided us with many educational resources, as well as hundreds of French, Arabic and Farsi books! They have also donated some funds which we used to build some more bookshelves in collaboration with our construction project. We’re excited about the library makeover and are looking forward to more educational programmes in that space in the future.
Winter in Northern Greece can be very harsh, and especially in Nea Kavala, which lies on a former airfield. The wind over the past few weeks has forced us to remember the fragile situation of living in a refugee camp. Many people’s homemade extensions blew down or even clean away, causing an extremely dangerous environment outside. Some Ministry kindergarten containers even blew over and were destroyed – thankfully no one was inside at the time. Conditions such as these must have a profound impact on the residents’ feeling of security, after already so many troubles from their pasts. We Are Here to help restore a sense of normalcy to their lives, but considering their living conditions, there are many challenges to overcome first.