coloring OHF

One Happy Family

June 2020

The situation on Lesvos and in Greece

Situation in Greece regarding Covid-19
The restrictions in Greece have been relaxed, however the limitations of the freedom of movement for the people in the Registrations and Identifications Camps (RIC), some camps on the mainland and patients with Covid-19 have been extended until at least the 7th of June.

Unaccompanied minors
At least 1’500 UAMs are still living little to no protection in the RIC on the Islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos. In total over 5’000 UAMs live in Greece.

8,300 refugees to be evicted from their homes in Greece
By the end of May 2020 8,300 recognized refugees are going to lose their accommodation and cash assistance schemes. Among these are many families with children. With many other organisations and via Help Refugees we released a statement to EU and Greek officials, calling on them to urge the Greek government to reconsider. The human rights of dignity, equality, and inclusion must be respected. Read more:

Another death in Moria
After disputes in Moria, a 23-year-old woman died last week due to a knife attack. The attacker was another woman living in Moria RIC, who was arrested afterwards. It’s not confirmed how the dispute arose. The family of the victim has been transferred to Kara Tepe.

Boats arriving
There are again more boats arriving on the Islands. In May, 6 boats arrived on Lesvos. On the other islands none arrived. But 22 boats have been stopped by the Turkish Coast Guard (TCG). Compared to April, there was only one boat that arrived, and 15 boats were stopped. Read the report about push backs on Samos written by Bellingcat: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2020/05/20/samos-and-the-anatomy-of-a-maritime-push-back/
Notis Mitarakis, Minister of Migration and Asylum, stated that he is expecting more arrivals because of summer weather and the end of COVID-19 measures. He also said that he is positive that arrivals will remain low because of increased border control.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, ATMs have arrived next to the RICs. There are now fully operational with a system linked to the numbers on their card so that everyone has scheduled days to withdraw money. On Lesvos the cash cards can again be used as well in the city, but, as said above, people are still limited in their freedom of movement.
WhatsApp Image 2020-05-04 at 10.05.22
Closed Centres
The closed centres on the islands might be finished in 2020, as stated by Notis Mitarakis. The government is, against the will of the local population, continuing with its plan of closed centres.

‘Force Majeure’
Notis Mitarakis has stated as well that front-line countries do not have the strength and resources to manage uncontrolled migration flows. Therefore the European asylum system should include the (legal) concept of Force Majeure- meaning that the state could detract from certain obligations because of extraordinary events or circumstances.

News from the Community Centre

OHF Faraz walls painted
The main building is again bright and beautiful
The cleaning and installation work continue at OHF. The walls of the main building are painted again with the colours resembling the OHF colours, but brighter. The team on the ground, together with the local contractors and Michalis and Faraz, are doing an amazing job. Thank you!

Almond trees planted after the fire
After the fire we planted almond trees. They are currently a bit weak - but alive and they carry almonds! :)
Bildschirmfoto 2020-06-01 um 09.42.29
School building – in our hearts
Even if the school building is not there anymore, it will always be in our hearts. We are in close contact with our partner the International School of Peace to discuss the following steps. Their team is already planning activities and to make “some sort of school” happen, as soon as possible.
School building is gone
Spring at OHF
Sometimes memories give us lots of strength. This is why this month we went back to spring last year!

With Easter, Ramadan and the Norouz celebrations, One Happy Family changed every spring into an even more colourful and lively place with dances, food and celebrations.
And, besides all of these beautiful festivities, One Happy Family also has its birthday in spring.
This year our Community Centre turns three and even if it is without a celebration, we know that only seeing pictures of last year will give lots of people a positive feeling. A little peaceful moment in the middle of those very turbulent times.
For Easter last year, OHF prepared a scrumptious lunch with lamb. What a special meal, prepared by our amazing kitchen team, who, despite the stressful moments, always stops to smile.
Several times during Ramadan last year, 700 people would dine together for Iftar at OHF, breaking the fast together. How beautiful to see all people sitting together in hundreds, enjoying their meals.
One Happy Family turned into an even more colourful place for its second birthday, with a special meal, dances and birthday cards for all of our community volunteers – without whom this beautiful place would never have existed.
One Happy Family has always been the place where people could relive a peaceful and positive atmosphere, at least for some hours in their days – which is so needed, if you have to endure and live in the catastrophic conditions in Moria RIC and on the Islands in general.

But this year all of this unfortunately hasn’t been possible, also for our community volunteers. Besides the weekly laundry of their clothes and English and Greek classes the team on the ground distributed sweet packages to them, to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan.

A big thank you to our team on the ground for arranging this beautiful gesture!
Pictures of last spring:
Birthday 2019
Easter 2019
Ramadan 2019
Ramadan 2019_2
Sweet packages for the team from the team:
Sweet packages
Content: Jael Tobler
Date: 30.5.2020
One Happy Family | https://ohf-lesvos-org | info@ohf-lesvos.org | @ohflesvos
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