As said above, all of Greece went into a second lockdown on the 7th November. We were much more prepared going into this second lockdown. In the couple of days leading up to the lockdown, the team on the ground topped up phone credit for our community volunteers, and provided warm clothing, headphones and laptops so we could all stay warm and virtually connected. Before lockdown, we also helped community volunteers download Zoom, and started (yet another) Whatsapp chat for technical support during this time.
One of our new community volunteers, Hussein, is a computer teacher. During lockdown he is leading our team in Moria 2.0 by helping setting people up for computer classes, and helping other community volunteers in the camp solve any technical difficulties. Thanks Hussein!
Leaving the camp during Lockdown
During this lockdown, one can only leave home for health reasons, going to the supermarket, and daily exercise. You have to send a text message with a code to a central number and then you are given approval to leave. As said above: In the camp it is a different story.
During this time, we have continued our daily classes online over Zoom (Greek, English and computer classes). There have been challenges with internet connections and different learning needs, however it has been great fun, and very successful! We have also started a Zoom hangout lounge, everyday at 12pm for the whole team. This is an opportunity for everyone to say hello and connect and check in with one another, and have some laughs. Some days we have lots of our volunteers attend, and other days it is more quiet.
Being ready to re-open
Despite the lockdown, we are using this time wisely to get things prepared and ready for when we are allowed to re-open. We are having shifts of 3 or 4 people being on site at any one time, to maintain social distancing. During these shifts, we are doing lots of cleaning and organising- such as the Nest, the Library, and keeping the road clean.
One Happy Family in Athens
This year, as the situation on Lesvos imploded, One Happy Family had to diversify and adjust.
We are very happy to tell you about one of the positive new directions in which we chose to go. Since March, our coordinator Yahia has been building a project in Athens, to help all of our community volunteers with the transition when they move on from the island.
Through a lot of hard work, Yahia has created a network in the city to help with everything from translations to finding accommodation and jobs, to guiding people through the ridiculously confusing bureaucracy they face there.
He has gathered a mass of knowledge to help with any questions people may have and a database of contacts so that he can find the answers he doesn’t already know.
He also arranges regular gatherings, where our volunteers come together. This is not only an opportunity to enjoy a nice day, but also helps people to really feel that they are still part of the community, something easy to forget in a massive city like Athens!
Thank you so much Yahia for starting this new phase of OHF!
Receipts for donations and tax-free donations
The One Happy Family Association has tax exemption status in Switzerland. You can use your donation receipt for your tax return in Switzerland (we can’t assure that you’ll get a tax reduction in other countries).
You will receive your donation receipts from 2020 in February 2021.
But in order to do this we need your help!
Please contact us at email@example.com until mid-January 2021, with the subject “Donation Receipt” and provide your email address – since email is more ecological and faster.
If your donation went to our German bank account please send an email with the same information to our Germany support address: firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you in advance for your assistance!
We will do our best to send you all your donation receipts as soon as we can! Please note that the day-to-day tasks on Lesvos take priority and that the team in Switzerland is unfortunately not able to invest all their time on this, since they all work full-time.