Low visitor numbers
The number of visitors is dropping- especially because the weather has changed and is getting worse. For the people who live in the camp, opportunities to leave are still unfortunately quite limited. The idea of organising a shuttle bus from the camp to One Happy Family has been proposed. This would enable people to reach 4 places and thus 11 organisations more easily. We will let you know in the next newsletter whether we have implemented this idea or not.
Upgrade of the Free shop
Finally, we were able to expand the scope of our free online shop: we are now offering dry food. We are very happy about this, as we have been planning to do this for a long time and now, thanks to donations we have received, we are finally able to do so.
An example of what we offer is rice, lentils, and other products. Many visitors have already asked about the distribution, so we hope that this upgrade will bring more people to OHF.
Something that has been around for a long time and is still relevant: clothing distribution. Male visitors can pick out clothes individually and take them with them, which has been very successful. We also distribute clothes to new arrivals or in very specific distributions such as for those who have lost all their belongings in the fires in the camp. Those distributions took place in cooperation with EuroRelief and LeaveNoOneBehind.
Art for kids
At the beginning of the month we were very lucky to be joined by stART International. They are an incredible organisation that has been helping children learn and express themselves through art on Lesvos since 2018.
They help prepare a space where children can take part in different artistic activities, ranging from painting to theatre. Children are encouraged to have complete freedom over what they create. This enables them to fully express themselves in the way they want to.
We spoke to Christoph, one of their team leaders, to find out more. He explained he “loves to watch the children going through the artistic process and becoming more and more present and able to concentrate, but also smiling more expressing joy. I personally think it is important for the children to be able to relax and just breathe out. This space and process helps children’s natural inner resilience to be realised.”
One Happy Family is very thankful for stART International to be able to come to our centre since they share our perspective on the importance of creating safe spaces for people to be and freely enjoy themselves.
When they are not at OHF, they provide fun activities for children in the playground behind the theatre in Mytilini.
Magical performance on the stage
Many, many thanks to the amazing fantastic magical performance by flyingseagulluk at OHF last week.
They say laughter is the best medicine. Adult or child, visitor or volunteer – your cure brought joy, laughter and a smile to everyone’s face!
Many thanks for coming back, and we hope to see you soon.
Fire safety training
This month we once again conducted a Fire safety and emergency training. A professional from the local fire brigade was also present. For example, we practised how to behave in case of a fire on the premises and how to use a fire extinguisher. It is very helpful to be able to practice this so that we can use it correctly and react in an emergency.
Our fantastic bar area is finally ready. Under the lead of Lisa and together with Makerspace, our tree area lounge got an update and is now a beautiful bar for our visitors. Now this area is cosy and ready for the winter.
Future plans of OHF
During the last weeks, we as OHF, along with many discussions with our partners, have discussed the possible future of the project One Happy Family. There are no definite decisions or finalised plans yet, but both OHF and many of our partners, are planning to continue projects in Athens or elsewhere on the mainland, so various collaborations are also being discussed.
Premiere: OHF live in Switzerland
In the beginning of November at our stand at the Neuland exhibition in Thun, we dared to experiment. We set up a live connection via video call directly to One Happy Family on Lesvos. This allowed visitors of the exhibition to talk directly with community volunteers, volunteers and the coordination team on site. It was wonderful to have the real OHF right there at our stand and to see all the familiar and new faces, to hear how and what they are doing. It was a bit of OHF feeling in Switzerland, but at the same time we also felt for a short time as if we were in the community centre in Greece.