VICTORIA COMMUNITY CENTER
In July, we were again pleased to welcome many visitors to our Community Centre. In exact numbers, the Community Centre received 2059 visits and 1115 of these were specifically to OHF. However, we are still working to raise awareness of the Community Centre and continue to distribute vouchers for our welcome packs. So this month we have again distributed around 60 vouchers in the streets and places around Victoria.
Wave of Hope has now started to offer arts activities twice a week in their space here at the centre. And we are also constantly working to expand our services and adapt them to the needs that exist in the community. That’s why we are always working on new collaborations to offer more services in the community center.
And one of our newest collaborations is with MSF which will carry out health promotion as well as their Problem Management Plus workshops at the centre.
To make everyday life in the community centre as safe as possible, we have now also formed an emergency team, which has had two training/planning sessions with the safety engineers.
To adapt to the situation in the house and the season, we have changed our working hours for the summer, from 10:00 to 18:00 for the team and 10:30 to 17:30 for our visitors.
As a CT and Board, we continue to work with MAPS, who have been with us for several months. Both teams have met with them several times to, among other things, debrief our joint weekend last May and analyse how far we have come with the things we set out to work on.
Unfortunately, however, we had to say goodbye to some of our team members again this month. Nicolas and Yahia left our coordination team. Read more about the great commitment of Nico under this newsletter’s and about Yahia in the next newsletter’s Meet the Family sections. But also we had to bid farewell to one of our team members in Switzerland too, because Nina decided to step back from the volunteer work for OHF. She has been a Board member since the first minute and took over many responsibilities, in the board or during her times on the ground. We thank all three of them from the bottom of our hearts for their tireless and long-standing commitment to OHF, we wish you all the best and will miss you.
And not to forget: We are still looking for a fundraising manager! Find out more on our website and spread the word!
FREE SHOP LESVOS
It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that we had to decide to end our engagement in our Free Shop on Lesvos. Our financial situation has unfortunately not allowed us to continue this part of the project. However, it was very important to us that this important service is not stopped but continued. That is why we have been looking at various options for a takeover and finally handed over the Free Shop to LNOB (LeaveNo OneBehind) at the end of July. As a part of this handover, the online shop has already moved from the container to the main hall of the Paréa Community Centre. Things have also changed regarding logistics and we have stopped receiving in kind donations, as LNOB is organising the donations from now on. The largest percentage of customers in the month of July were from Somalia and Congo, compared to other months when Afghans were the main customers. Popular products continued to be hygiene products such as deodorant and soaps, but socks and hand towels were also frequently ordered. And we continue to offer fresh vegetables and dried herbs (when available) in cooperation with Sporos Garden. And now it’s time to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this great and very successful free shop project. The idea was born during the Covid-19 Lockdown, was implemented in a highly professional manner with a website for placing orders, was run with enthusiasm by our team on site and has proven itself very valuable during all this time. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this! It was also important to us to make sure that our employees and volunteers could continue to work there. Mohammed will therefore continue to work in the shop of LeaveNoOneBehind from August onwards and will contribute to the continuation of the project with his overview and great commitment, as will our community volunteer Mohammed. Aref, who has managed the shop perfectly over the last few months, has decided to leave the island and thus our shop team. And Chrysa, our administrative hero, who has also put a lot of time and energy into the shop, will continue her role. We hope that the online free shop will continue making its customers happy. Once again, a big thank you to all and we wish each and every one of our team all the best, you are wonderful!