New video of OHF
If you haven’t watched yet our newest video of how the project is looking at the moment, please watch it here. Our community volunteer Hamid and Fanny, one of our board members, will show you around. We hope you enjoy all the site updates!
With Greece still in lockdown, we keep adapting the project while adhering to the local rules. We are still ‘closed’ to regular visitors, however our volunteers are able to be on site, and the current situation hasn’t stopped us from doing everything we can to support the people in Lesvos.
As we mentioned in the last newsletter, one of our biggest focus points has been establishing our free online shop. By clicking a link, residents of the camp are able to access the shop in the four main languages (Arabic, French, Farsi and English). The shop stocks mostly a range of hygiene products. Our current target group is single men, as they are one of the biggest and most under-served demographics in the camp. However, the shop is open for anyone that needs these products. Once the order is placed, we prepare it. This takes around 2-3 days. Once it’s ready, we send a message informing it is ready to be collected. This month alone we have packed over 1,000 hygiene kits; this is a huge effort for our small team! We currently have on site 17 community volunteers, 4 long-term volunteers, and 5 coordination team members, all of which have been helping with the logistics of the shop. The mastermind behind this project is one of our long-term volunteers, Ingo, and with help from Nico, our IT coordinator, and India, the online shop was created.
We will keep you updated on the online shop as time goes by, starting with a guide created by our community volunteer Hussein. We want to thank everybody who has made this project possible, and encourage asylum seekers in the camps to use our free online shop.
We have also received as a donation a new shop container, which is double the size of the previous shop! We’ve organised the container with shelves, and look forward to having people visit it once restrictions are lifted. We are testing a feedback form to improve our services, and to know if there are different things, or more useful ones that we can stock the shop with.
Integration and training programme – certificates celebration
In the One Happy Family integration and training programme, we host English, Greek and computer classes, as well as integration sessions for our community volunteers. The purpose of this programme is to help our team better understand and adapt to Greek society, as well as to foster interaction among the international people we come across with every day here at OHF.
Last week our dedicated students/community volunteers completed English levels 1 and 2, which are conducted in collaboration with the Adult School, operating underבית ספר השלום לפליטים ביוון – The International School of Peace.
On Thursday, we held a certificate ceremony together with the students, all of which successfully completed the programme. We gathered in this ceremony and shared a moment of joy. We are so very proud and feel lucky to have these great people in our team!
Cyber café news
We have refurbished our cyber café! It is now in a larger but quieter space, ready for people to learn. Thanks to numerous generous donations we have now many more computers available. We have shared the excess with other local organisations, other NGOs, local schools and community volunteers, so that everyone has a chance to work and connect remotely during this time.
We have one incredible community volunteer who is in charge of this project and has support from three other fantastic community volunteers. He has made a series of YouTube videos of computer basics that follow the ICDL certification content, so that at one point we can help members of the community attempt to get their ICDL certification (ICDL is a world leading computer skills certification course). We cannot wait to reopen the café, and continue learning how to use computers and online internet education!
We have also updated the wifi at the centre, and are working towards setting up internet links between OHF and schools in the camp, as there is currently no internet in the camp.
Former volunteers keep contributing
Helge Ulrike Hyams, a former OHF volunteer, published a book called Denk ich an Moria; it is available in German. We wanted to share it with all of you, to show that there is always something we can do, like keep informing yourself and the others.
Here’s an article about the book: https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/helge-ulrike-hyams-denk-ich-an-moria-die-alltaegliche.1270.de.html?dram:article_id=494793
Without you, our dear supporters, One Happy Family would have never been able to be where we are today. In November we did a fundraising for administration costs, and we didn’t get to officially thank the people who donated. Although we would rather prefer to use all our donations to support the community centre and our people in need, administration costs is a must so that our accounting, registration in Greece, administration tools, and team support is in order.
Therefore we thank each one of you who helped us raise 1,800€ to cover these invisible costs. Each one of you is truly amazing, and we are beyond grateful.
A big thank you to all our supporters!