Through the engagement of many people the following projects have already been realized in our community center on the island of Lesvos:
All offers in the center are of course free for every visitor. For the café, the shisha lounge, the carpentry, the tailor, the barber and the boutique we introduced a local currency called the “swisscross-drachma”. Every visitor gets a few drachma from the “bank” per day and can spend it for the different offers. With that, we want to give the people a feeling of normality and self-determination in their environment which is often fully determined by others.
The barber shop is located right behind the cinema. With simple machines and scissors, the skilled barbers and coiffeurs manage to give people from the camps stylish haircuts and a fresh look.
Supplied with a large profiessional espresso machine, up to 100 coffees are served here every day. The area is artfully decorated and separaed by a small wooden fence from the rest of the room. It is the perfect place to get in touch with each other and encourages cultural exchange.
Together for Better Days
Ethiopia, Germany & Switzerland
On request, movies in various languages can be screened, and listened to using bluetooth headsets. The room is separed from the rest by a thick red curtain. Visitors sit between self-made pillows on wooden stairs, and can enjoy the movie in a calm, pleasant atmosphere.
Syria & Siwtzerland
Thanks to donations, we can distribute clothes and shoes in two big tents; one for men clothes and all shoes, and another for women and children. The clothes are presented nicely on clothes rails, like in a “normal” boutique. Besides, there are two chanings rooms for trying clothes.
United Rescue Aid
Nepal, Kongo, Egypt & Switzerland
Duging lunchtime, visitors queue up to receive food, then sit on one of the long tables in the dining area, or on one of the many other seating options around the center.
The Hope Project – Philippa & Erik Kempson
Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Israel & Palestine
A ship container, painted in pink color, provides space for two class rooms. There, it is possible to offer classes for children and adults, whereby most of the teachers are refugees themselfes and come from the same community as their pupils.
School of Peace
A long stepped garden bed, as well as a triangular space in the yard right in front of the center and various small patches around the center form the garden. Severa people have planted strawberries, flowers, herbs and other plants, which contribute to the atmosphere of the place.
The GYM, equipped with various weights and other training material, allows visitors to engange themselves in sports activities. It is operated entirely by people from the refugee camps. They write training plans, offer Taekwando and kick-box sessions and organize running groups.
The Hope Project – Philippa & Erik Kempson
Tunisia, Algeria, Greece & Switzerland
The indoor area of the kids space is bordered by a painted wooden fence. There, children can paint and do handicrafts. A pillow fight with our volunteers is also very popular. The kids are supervised by two to three helpers. There is a lot of activity every day. Outside, a wooden castle can be climped upon. There is as well a slide and a jumping stand to train movement skills.
Syria & Myanmar
Theoutdoor kitchen with a seaside view prepares around 500 meals every day. The food is balanced and of common taste, to suit the different tastes of all the people. Everything is cooked in big pots sitting on two gas burners.
Morocco, Switzerland, Syria & Kongo
An old VM bus has been converted to a library, which is located directly next to the school. It us used by adults and kids alike. Jean-Pierre from Kongo is our librarian and organizes the books by language, age and type. In addition, we try to motivate people to write their won stories, and present them in the library.
Afghanistan & Switzerland
The internet radio station OHF Radio, operated by three brothers from Afghanistan, exists since April. They also use the small room for producing short documentary movies and presentation clips. Currenty, they are focussing on the production of video material, therefore the radio stations plays a premade list of music from around the world.
Algeria, Egypt & Greece
The shisha is an important part of Arabic culture, and therefore in popular demand – especially among men. Enjoying a shisha costs more SD (swisscross Drachma) than a single person receives a day, therefore every evening various groups sit together and share a shisha.
Close to the entrace of the bulding, a ship container has been converted to a mini-market for sanitary products.
Used as beach volleyball, soccer and basketball field, the outer area of the community center offers a lot of possibilities to to sport. About 6 tons of sand have been distributed on the floor to provide a pleasant ground for sports activities.
Sierra Leona, Palestine & Afghanistan
A small, separate room has been converted to a co-working space. Next to sewing machines and clothes irons for the tailor visitors find a computer workplace. Here, they can have their clothes being repaired, and have the possibility to print important documents or communicate with relatives over the Internet while waiting.