One Happy Family

April 2019

Situation on Lesvos

Boat Arrivals
Good weather brings good vibes huh?! The warmer it gets on Lesvos, the more we worry about the increasing levels of boat arriving to the Islands. 42 boats have arrived at the Islands this month (as of 22ndMarch), with 15 of those arriving on Lesvos. While on the Turkish waters, 70 boats have been stopped by the Police/ Coastguards.

Transfers to the Mainland
There have been a small but steady number of transfers to the mainland this month. Unfortunately, we do not have the exact numbers from UNHCR for March so we cannot provide you with an exact number at this present moment. Many of the transfers have been of people living in containers at Moria/Kara Tepe. The transfers have been to re-opened camps on the mainland. These camps are mainly tent camps, with inadequate hygiene/WASH conditions.

Deaths on Lesvos
On the 11thof March a headless body was washed ashore in the south of Lesvos. It’s believed to belong to a 9-year-old girl that went missing on February 13 while trying to arrive on the island in a boat.

Deaths on Samos
A father and his two small children, twin brothers age 4, died when their boat sank outside Samos on the night from the 6th/ 7thof March. The father went missing early in their journey. 11 other refugees from the same boat were rushed to hospital where the two boys died. The body of the father was found later.

Eviction of refugees from their houses and end of financial support
Around 600 people, who have been recognized with Refugee Status by the Greek government before July 31, 2017, will be removed from their apartments or from their places in refugee camps (where they have been living for at least 19 months) by March 31 this year.
The UNHCR informed them that their cash payments (90 Euro/month) will end three months later if they agree to leave. If they refuse, the payments will end on March 31 as well. The refugees will very likely face the possibility of homelessness as there have been minimal efforts to support integration into their communities. Read more here: https://greece.greekreporter.com/2019/02/23/thousands-of-refugees-to-be-evicted-from-their-homes-in-greece/.

The Samos sports program is now up and running! Every day, new people from all the different communities in the camp are joining and participating in the project. Sports and Yoga for Refugees are looking for a new coordinator for the project (you can apply too:)). While there is this gap, four men from the camp are doing a fantastic job in leading the activities.

Picture of the month

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 14.57.07
Mark, one of our volunteers, is an amazing painter.

Mark painted this extraordinary piece; capturing the 3 year anniversary protest of the EU- Turkey Deal, held on the shores of Mytilini Harbour this month.

As Doctors without borders (MSF) states: The EU-Turkey-Deal is leading to the fact that thousands of men, women and children are held under inhuman conditions in overcrowded camps with precarious hygiene conditions. At the moment around 12’000 human beings are living in the five hot spots on the Greek islands”.

MSF is again, calling on the EU and the Greek government to stop this horrendous, inhuman and cynical policy.
Read more: https://www.msf.ch/de/neueste-beitraege/pressemitteilung/griechenland-eu-tuerkei-abkommen-verursacht-weiterhin-not-und

#MeetTheFamily: Faces of One Happy Family

The whole One Happy Family project is about being together and working together for the better. It is about working with the people instead of for them and having that warm, cosy family feeling.
Once you experience the atmosphere on the ground, you’ll understand the whole name:
We work together as one, value happiness and facilitate a space to feel the security and sincerity of a family construct.
It’s many people who, from all walks of life, come together, to build our One Happy Family.

Happy people do good things!"
Motto at One Happy Family

News from the Community Centre

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-07 at 11.27.21
WhatsApp Image 2019-03-07 at 11.27.20
Celebration of International Women’s Day
Every Year we celebrate the International Women’s Day with different activities. This year, the Women’s House was at the centre of the celebrations, where they held a range of special activities. We also had an arts project in the main hall to include all our visitors. A big sign was made where we invited our visitors to write down or draw their thoughts about this special day. See the results in the pictures.

Nowruz Mabrouk!
It’s the Persian New Year! We celebrated the start of spring with special food, much laughter and of course, dancing!! JHappy New Year to everyone!

Soccer Tournaments
Since we’re only open Monday until Friday, some of our volunteers have started a soccer tournament on the weekends for all of our helpers. It’s a huge success and it makes us happy to see so many people getting involved and getting positive energy out of it. Watch the instagram story here: football tournament

Supervision of the Board
One Happy Family Association has grown in more ways than we had ever dreamed of!
We are so impressed and humbled that this once small idea, has grown and impacted the lives of so many. We try to constantly reflect on what we do and were we can improve, grow and change; both at the Centre on Lesvos, and as an Association.
We had a supervision session with the OHF board in Switzerland this month. A large part of this time was spent, working on our short/long term goals, and how we can improve and develop our feedback systems.
We are hoping to develop a feedback form soon, for all our past/ present/ future volunteers, that will cover the many different aspects of OHF (projects, coordination, ideas etc). But for now, we’d love to keep hearing your feedback! We can’t improve and grow without it.
One of our next goals is to have another Supervision session with the Coordination Team, The Board, AND the WHOLE helper/volunteer team! Together for better:)

Around the whole world our Safe Passage socks run, sit, lie and hop. From Switzerland to New York, Tel Aviv, Athens, Boston, Australia and Colombia, the "Safe Passage" socks are worn many happy feet.
Who says that you only wear socks in winter?! The White edition contemplates the sun tan achieved on the Greek Islands, while the Black pair, can be worn with work/sports or regular clothes. In addition, thanks to the fine organic cotton, they are also breathable and a perfect partner for your summer shoes!
Every pair of socks allows us to cook 10 warm meals for people on Lesvos in our Community Centre, One Happy Family.
Find out more and order your pair today on our website: https://ohf-lesvos.org/en/socks/

Harvest day in the garden
Our partner Together for Better Days harvested the garden this month at One Happy Family, see the video here:
video of betterdays

Podcast: Refugeestortytellers
Our partners from Refugee Media Production, along with The Change Makers"; have highlighted four stories of inspiring refugees who use their time in Lesvos to help others and improve their own lives.

Yaya, Amir, Fifi and Ahmad help to create, coordinate and improve and many things at OHF. From making bags out of used life jackets to managing the #OneHappyFamily community kitchen, running a photo website, translating, advising and helping other people in similar situations. They are all wonderful examples that "nobody came from nothing,” as Yahia says proudly.
“I should be doing more because this is my second chance to build by life. I had my life before but I lost it. Right now, I’ve found the safety and possibility to rebuild it again,” Amir tells Khudadad.

The third episode of Refugee Media Production's podcast series focuses on the positive aspects of the situation on Lesvos and encourages young refugees to "spend their time preparing for their future".

One Happy Family | https://ohf-lesvos-org | info@ohf-lesvos.org | @ohflesvos
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