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One Happy Family

September 2019

Situation on Lesvos

Arrivals in August
The number of boat arrivals has increased dramatically this month. As of the 28th of August, 83 boats with a total of 3171 people have arrived on Lesvos. These are the highest numbers we’ve seen since arrivals reached their peak in 2015, and these numbers continue to grow. You can check out “Aegean Boat Report” on Facebook for daily updates on boat arrivals to the islands.

As a result of this increase in arrivals more than 1000 people are left to sleep on cardboard on the small roads inside Moria camp or even outside the camp on the streets. There have been only around 700 people who left to the mainland. Not many of these departures have been supported by the UNHCR, thus many of the departed will be left on their own once on the mainland. As such, Moria is completely overcrowded again with over 9000 people, far more than the official capacity of 3200.

Unaccompanied minors
The increase in arrivals also increased the number of unaccompanied children. The security zones in Moria are full (normally only children under the age of 14 are accommodated there), girls under the age of 18 were therefore also transferred to the women's zones. In a tragic incident between the ages of 14 and 15, one of the boys died last week in the security zone in Moria.

Kara Tepe
It was recently announced that Stavros Mirogiannis, the responsible for the Kara Tepe camp, has to leave his job. Stavros works hand in hand with all the organizations inside Kara Tepe and has helped to establish a village-like atmosphere inside the camp. The organisations he works with have started a campaign to allow him to stay and continue his important work.
The fear and the risk are that Kara Tepe may be closed in the future, or that the person who overtakes the responsibility isn’t able to continue the current work with the organisations on the ground.

Inside the projects: Cinema

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When walking through the doors of One Happy Family you cannot help but notice the quiet calm of the cinema to your right.
Just like any famous cinema, we have a large projector screen, an awesome sound system, thick curtains (much needed to block the joyous but intense buzz from the many visitors in our community centre) and also, amazingly comfortable mattresses and pillows.
Three films are shown each week and you can find our visitors relaxing, laughing, crying and losing themselves in the worlds of Charlie Chaplin, Pixar, Disney, J.K Rowling, John Landis and many more!
All movies are shown in English to encourage our visitors to practice the language, but we try our best to show films that appeal to all audiences. The most popular request of these comes from the children of OHF- for cartoons!!!!!
Everyone is welcome to help with the cinema planning, and we of course welcome all of your suggestions on what movies to show in future!

#MeetTheFamily: Yonan

Yonan has been part of One Happy Family for one year and three months. He started as part of our security team, going on to help Akis with his daily tasks and supporting/organizing the helpers. He was also responsible for our essential bus service and the ever popular Shisha lounge, but at the end of his time at OHF he found what he really liked: the kitchen! He learned how to cook many dishes and all of the important aspects of kitchen work – which he really liked. He says: “I would like to work in a kitchen one day, I like this work a lot. So I’m really glad that I was able to learn about this at OHF.”
Yonan has now continued on his way, but we couldn’t let him leave without acknowledging everything that he has done for OHF. We’re very thankful to have had you with us – thank you for your smile on endless bus rides, for your energy while supporting the kitchen, for teaching us how to dance to “Semame” and just for being you! All the best to you, take good care!
My wish….
Yonan’s wish is that many people can enjoy OHF like he did. “I learned so much – I hope that many people will have this possibility.”
My message to you….
“If OHF wouldn’t exist I wouldn’t have been able to stay in Moria, on Lesvos, for one single day. It’s so good to come together, to smile – its such a good place. You should all know how important it is for us to have OHF.”
“ You should all know how important it is for us to have OHF.”

News from the Community Centre

Open stage
We are celebrating with our dear Open Stage again! Twice a week the Community Centre fills with music: once a week on Fridays with instruments and the other time on Tuesdays with music to dance to. It’s an opportunity to show your talents and skills as well as an opportunity to realise how music brings all of us together.

Picture this-there is Afghan music playing, a man from Congo joins in to dance, everyone is cheering for and supporting this amazing dancer, and then people change the music to Congolese music so he can further show his skills. This is one example of how One Happy Family has really helped to create a community.

Google office
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What a fancy name! Our new office above the other offices is indeed very fancy and cool. Thanks to our amazing carpenters, this office serves as the new working space for all the volunteers and helpers when they need to have a quiet space to work on the ground at OHF. Working continuously on something at OHF can be very difficult because there is always someone needing something or asking you something.
Having the opportunity to go and work in the Google office for Helpers list updating, Social Media, Fundraising, Newsletter writing and so on is a big improvement!
By the way, and since we’ve been asked already, we call it the Google office – but there is no funding from Google to our Community Centre.

Food line
Having enough food for everyone and distributing the food quickly – these are our two rules when it comes to our food line. After experiencing some difficulties, we worked together to combine our ideas and found our current system. With our new system we are serving food to around 800 people in less than 15 minutes while maintaining a a calm and friendly environment. This is a very positive improvement!
The new system consist of giving spoons (and if we have bread) before giving the main dish, we also have always 3 lines: men, women and children.

Picture of the month

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Sustainability at OHF
We’re always working on improving our sustainability. We are happy to announce that we now have reusable cups for all of our volunteers and helpers, with the goal remaining to implement it for visitors as well. Some visitors already bring their own cup and then can get tea without “drachma.”
In addition to our breakfast of toasts and fruit, each volunteer and helper gets a glass of fruit juice. Now we use a large glass jar to give the juice to our volunteers and helpers – directly into each person’s reusable cup.
As said in a previous newsletter, one of the biggest achievements regarding the environment is our rented bus for the shuttles.
Each morning and evening we use a bus from the municipality to go between Mytilini, OHF, Moria, and back. Since starting to use this bus we’ve drastically reduced the amount of rides back and forth, and the rides are a lot of fun- music, singing, a dancing bus driver – you can find everything.

Garden at OHF

Due to the limited space inside the garden area the garden team is now expanding to various new spaces at OHF. The newest project is a vertical garden in front of the medical clinic where spices, herbs and flowers will create a feel-good-atmosphere for the patients while they wait to see the doctors.

Better day Ecohub, from our partner Together for better days, is leading an environmental working group at OHF. The aim of this group is to tackle environmental topics like waste management, recycling, water usage and to stop the use of plastic spoons, cardboard cups etc.
Content: Jael Tobler
Date: 30/9/2019
One Happy Family | https://ohf-lesvos-org | info@ohf-lesvos.org | @ohflesvos
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