Campaign successfully funded on: 17 Nov,2016
Jafra’s team in Greece, Refugees to Refugees, is a group of youth volunteers, who escaped the war in Syria and attempted to travel to Europe in hopes to start a new life. We found ourselves trapped in between the Greek and Macedonian borders, in Idomeni Camp, after the closure of European borders.
As 8 young people who had worked in relief and development with civil society organizations inside Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, we decided to use our skills to organize activities for our neighbors and ourselves. After our move to Lakadikia Camp, we, the Jafra Refugees to Refugees team began and continue the following activities:
With funds from this campaign the team hopes to provide winterization supplies to the residents of the camp, purchasing pallets to lift tents off the ground, providing jackets and additional blankets to 1,000 persons in the camp. In addition, funds will also contribute to the ongoing activities which are detailed below.
Please read and share the story of the team below! They are working hard in extremely difficult conditions and we hope that you will help us support them in continuing the road.
As 8 young people who had worked in relief and development with civil society organizations inside Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, we decided to use our skills to organize activities for the children in the camp, neighbors and ourselves.
Due to the absence of any organization providing psychosocial or educational support for children inside Idomeni Camp, we established an organized working mechanism addressing the problems children face and the programs that we are able to implement to address those problems.
On April 12th 2016, the team started constructing a space for conducting psychosocial and educational activities by placing simple tarps on wooden pillars. 56 children of varying age participated in our first activity. As word spread, the number of children increased daily.
With our new found direction and kind donations, we were able to continue and expand our activities, reaching 130 children in the period of 3 weeks.
As the living situation inside Idomeni Camp began to deteriorate, many families moved out of the camp to another camp.
We decided it was best to move with them and continue our self-organizing there, assisting children and families to deal with daily issues, provide services for ourselves and families living in the camp with us, and expand our activities according to the needs of those living in our camp.
Since our work began, the Jafra team receives new volunteers daily, wishing to work with the team and have some purpose in their daily lives. For more information about specific activities, please see the details of our work below.
Educational and Psychosocial support, awareness raising and awareness raising activities for Children
Lakadekia Camp hosts 309 children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old, with another 255 children under 5 years old. This means more than half the population inside the camp is under the age of 17.
After being in the camp for more than 1 month, we decided not to wait for international organizations to rehabilitate a school for the children. Instead we bought simple pallets and built doors and windows, painted the building’s interior and exterior, and began teaching classes in English, Arabic and Mathematics. School activities have continued until present and the space is also used for psychosocial support activities.
Within Jafra team’s programming, children are separated according to age. Each age category has special programming including psychosocial and educational support, drawing, puppet making, and music, in addition to recreational activities.
Waste Collection and Cleaning Campaign Activities
After our arrival to the camp site, it was clear that we should be responsible for waste removal and clean up inside the camp. This was and remains a priority, as it can directly affect the residents' health, especially the health of children. The camp is cleaned daily by the Jafra team.
Relief, Maintenance and Logistics Services
The Jafra volunteer team also addresses the needs of those 200 families residing in the camp through relief distributions. With assistance from other local and international organizations, the team has distributed hygiene kits, mattresses, sleeping bags, gas bottles, cooking pots and cooked meals. Also about 64 families were targeted for distribution of children items including - diapers, milk bottles and wet wipes.
The Jafra maintenance and logistics volunteers assist the refugee community in repairing the damaged tents, equipping the sports field, setting up a cinema tent, and repairing abandoned buildings to be used by the community. In addition, the team set up small 5 small community kitchens inside the camp.
Other Ongoing and Proposed Community Activities
The Jafra volunteer team, now 37 youth, receives daily consent and positive feedback from refugees residing in Lakadikia Camp. One consistent piece of feedback received expresses the “significance of a team of refugees working with refugees, rather than any other organization, due to their knowledge and experience with the same issues that refugees face”.
The prime aim of the Jafra team is to employ and engage refugees in caring for their own community inside the camp. Furthermore, the aim of the team is to prove also that the refugees are capable of organizing their temporary settlement and have the right to develop themselves and express their voices and opinions throughout their residency inside the camp.
If refugees remain in tents, they will be tortured with thoughts of their difficult past, distant and vague future and remnants of war itself, and drawn into negative coping mechanisms. The team understands that many cases of violence within families are often times the result of absence of purpose. This fact compelled the Jafra Refugees to Refugees team to establish a community center for daily conversations and communication amongst the camp’s residents. Those persons who are taking their daily anger out on their family were prioritized to be engaged in rehabilitating the center in order to use their energy to provide purpose for their community. This community space is equipped with handmade wooden benches and tables from simple materials, made by those same persons.
All the implemented work, including the activities, sessions, information and community centers, constructing tables and benches, purchase of equipment,awareness and cleaning campaigns, require hard and difficult work. The team needs your support.
Jafra Refugees to Refugees aims to engage all refugees living in the camp in implementing current and future activities and work, as persons who will directly contribute and benefit both themselves and their new community.
There are no updates for this project yet.