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OHF has to close

7 years of togetherness, hope, community, and support
Dear One Happy Family newsletter readers

First of all, a huge thank you for following the work of One Happy Family and the situation in Greece for the last seven years. Without your support, this project would not have been possible and it means a lot to all of us that you have kept up this interest and support for so long.

The boards and the coordination team of One Happy Family feel it is important to communicate to you a difficult decision we had to take regarding the future of One Happy Family.

Unfortunately, One Happy Family does not have the necessary funding secured to continue our activities past February 2024. Our fundraising efforts were very strong but it has become harder and harder to fundraise for our project in Greece and we didn’t manage to attain our financial goal by a considerable amount.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that we have to stop our One Happy Family activities for and with refugees at the Victoria Community Center in Athens at the end of February 2024. We have always said that we will try to exist as long as our work is needed. The need to provide places of community, especially for refugees, continues as they otherwise have very limited access to social and community support. But unfortunately, we cannot secure and stabilise our part anymore. Even though we will no longer be part of this meaningful work, the Victoria Community Center, which we founded in 2022 together with our partner organisations, will continue to exist.

We have therefore decided to pay our share of the rent for the Victoria Community Center (VCC) for the first nine months of 2024. We hope that this, together with all the efforts of our partners, gives our beloved VCC the best chance to survive and continue being a valuable resource for people and communities. All the partner organisations in the Center have been amazing partners and we wish all the best for all of them and the VCC.

We never thought that this small grassroots project, which started in 2017, would last so long and be an important and positive support and resource for so many different people from so many different countries.
We are very grateful to all those from near and far who made this possible.
We won’t forget the people in Greece or elsewhere, nor all of you, nor all the moments experienced that are deeply engraved in our hearts.

Thank you for the last seven years that you’ve supported people in exile in Greece (Lesvos and Athens) and One Happy Family.
Thank you for continuing to share the spirit of “coming together - learning from each other”!

We look forward to supporting our team in Athens during these last weeks and all of the partner organisations in the transition phase to a VCC without One Happy Family. As the closure process will last at least until April and it is important to us to treat everyone fairly, we are grateful for any support in this final phase. Donations are therefore still very welcome and our socks and olive oil can still be ordered while stocks last.
We will continue to send out our newsletter until at least the end of March and will keep you up to date.

Efkaristo, shukran, tashakor, enkosi, merci beaucoup!
Thank you very much!

Warmest regards,
Anna and Akis
Coordination team of One Happy Family
Fabian, Jael, Lukas, Anja, Hannah, Ingolf, Johanna & Nora
Boards of One Happy Family

Short update from Athens

The Victoria Community Center wishes you all a belated Happy New Year 2024!
There has been a lot going on at the community center in the last two months. We had a short break in the last two weeks of December, but we opened our doors again at the beginning of January. Coffee, tea, orange juice in the café, one hot meal a day and all the daily activities were back for our visitors.
Since opening the Victoria Community Center in spring of 2022, the number of visitors continuously increased, bringing the space of the community center, its services and the teams to a capacity limit.
In comparison from 2022 to 2023 the visits to the Center increased by 126.6%!
In 2023 we started the year with 1.682 monthly visits to the community center during January 2023, and ended the year with 4.482 monthly visits in December. The highest number of visits was in November 2023 with 4.839 visits and the numbers are increasing. Looking at the entire 2023, there were a total of 33.608 visits to the Victoria Community Center in all 2023. Compared to the total visit of 14.829 in 2022.

Content: Alicia Garcia Romeral, Jael Tobler, Johanna Käser and others
Date: 05.12.23
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