Newsletter EN

5 years EU-Turkey Deal & ongoing human rights violations

COVID/ Vaccines The Greek borders are still closed due to Covid, however it is planned for them to be re-opened in mid-May. The number of infected people keeps growing. Vaccinations started in Greece with the 80-year-old population, followed by the 60-year-old and older. UNHCR reiterated that migrants, refugees and undocumented people also have to receive

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New video, online shop, certificates and more

New video of OHFIf 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!  Online ShopWith Greece still in lockdown, we keep adapting

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Small words make a big change

Today we want to share – along with the picture – some words from Estelle Jean, co-founder of one of our dear partner organisations:   “In 2017 I started Yoga and Sport FOR Refugees with Dana and Kamara. Practicing sports together with one goal: making people happy and strong, because in these difficult circumstances practicing sports

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The smiler of OHF

Meet Mohammad… or Bacha, as he is affectionately known! He was born in 1996 in Syria, where all of his family remain. Mohammad is the smiler of OHF and is full of effervescent positivity, with a love for music, which he likes to play LOUD! He first came to the centre as a visitor; then,

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Different ways to help

Thank you to everyone that completed our newsletter survey last month!  One of the biggest points of feedback is ‘how people can help/be involved’, particularly at the moment, when people cannot travel to Lesvos. We are currently putting together a guide of different ways to support safe migration in Europe, and how to get involved

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Still inhumane conditions

Covid in Greece and Lesvos To avoid a third wave of outbreaks, a tougher lockdown has been imposed for the whole of Greece with a curfew starting at 18.00 daily. The new variants of the virus strains are spreading in Greece, many SMEs and the closed hospitality sector are suffering, and the hospitals are predicted

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Another lockdown-month

This month – another month in lockdown – we want to focus the news for you on our most important achievement: The free online shop.  The free online shop kicked off, and so far we have had a great response. Fifie and the team have been putting together the orders and organising the pick-up times.

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Games on wheels

Volunteers spoke of many people crowding around to watch people play a board game, and Gabriella wanted to find a way to help spread this little joy. With a team of interested volunteers, she formulated a plan to build a trailer, to be pulled by bicycle and filled with games for people to loan and

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Fundraising

Socks up! Again, many hundreds more safe passage socks are worn in this world, this year in green/red. We wonder where you are spreading the word about “safe passage” and would love to receive photos and greetings from our happy socks! Send us a mail to fundraising@ohf-lesvos.org or post the picture and tag us. Also

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An integral part of OHF

Meet AliAli is an integral part of One Happy Family.  He started as our Cyber Café manager in 2019 and has been with us ever since.  He is held in very high regard by all of his colleagues and always seems to be helping someone; translating for a neighbour, visiting a sick friend, listening patiently when someone

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Keep an eye on Frontex and fill out our survey

Keep an eye on FrontexSwitzerland is part of Frontex. Since 2011, we have contributed with people and money. We should use our voice within Frontex to make the concerns about illegal pushbacks heard and demand consequences: the stepping down of Fabrice Leggeri, Director of Frontex. He blocks external investigations, regardless of the evidence presented by

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Danger of lead poisoning in the middle of winter

Lesvos: winter is here 7,300 people are living in a dire situation as winter arrived with temperatures below zero, heavy rain and thunderstorms. UNHCR and other NGOs are offering the Greek authorities help to improve the conditions of Moria 2.0 (Mavorouni). It turns out that in October a 5.2 million Euro contract was issued to a local private company

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Another month in lockdown

Another month in lockdown has passed. Our team on the ground keeps improving OHF in order to have it ready for whenever it can be used again for its original purpose.  Construction The classrooms between the two containers are now ready! See head picture of the newsletter. The construction is finished, the classrooms are painted

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Donations, donations, donations…

This month we would like to take a moment to say a big thank you for all your ongoing donations. One Happy Family is increasingly becoming a donations reception point and they are either distributed by us, or passed on to others for distribution. You might imagine OHF as a packed warehouse. However, there is so

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Free online shop for hygiene items

Our team on the ground has struggled with not being able to properly fulfill the needs of the people in the camp or physically reach them during lockdown. This is why they created an online shop for hygiene items, with the support of the big warehouse Attika Human support. The online shop is currently in

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Thank you Giulia!

This month we would like you to meet Giulia. Giulia came to Lesvos for the first time in 2018, and came back several times since. On site she worked with OHF, and supported as well Medical Volunteers International as a professional nurse.  Her positive, heart-warming, very pragmatic, easygoing and always active attitude is a very

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Stay active!

Support the legal actors According to the latest news, many asylum cases are processed without the authorities providing legal assistance to refugees and migrants. Therefore, support and financial contributions to legal NGOs such as the Legal Centre Lesvos are most needed and helpful.  Oppose inhumane living conditions In face of the threat of lead poisoning in the

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Important articles

Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) has published a timeline of all the 2020 illegal pushbacks at sea. Greece still refutes these claims, and calls the footage “allegations”. Frontex is still being examined by the EU’s anti-fraud institution OLAF. The Council of Europe’s Anti Torture Committee called on Greece to act to prevent pushbacks. 

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Thank you for working with us!

Thank you for working together with us! There have been incredible challenges in 2020 and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has been involved with the project this year. Our incredible team on the ground, all our community volunteers and international volunteers around the world, and our board members. 

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Greek dance lessons

Selin, our coordination team member, started Greek-dance-classes with our team. Dancing brings people from different ages, regions etc. together. For Selin and many others it’s a way to communicate without speaking. “Dancing together makes us feel as a team, we are creating/doing something together.”, says Selin.  Learning about Greek culture through dance is also a way

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The way through the lockdown and the labyrinth

Despite the lockdown, the OHF team on Lesvos stayed busy with office work and coordination of in kind donations from supporters during December. At the community centre, Doctors on the ground work tirelessly receiving patients and providing psychological support to children and adults. In the main hall, we had a big distribution of donations –

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New regulation and announcements

A new regulation from the Greek government threatens to criminalise NGOs and volunteers for sharing information from within the camps. This is another attempt to hide the inhumane living conditions and the many mistakes made inside the camps. (Read more: https://reliefweb.int/report/greece/greece-s-new-confidentiality-law-aims-conceal-grave-violations-against-asylum-seekers)  Additionally, the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) also announced it will stop its

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Overview 2020

This was the year The year started with nearly 20,000 people forced to live in Moria camp and the surrounding area. 42% of the residents were children, with 17% of those, unaccompanied or separated from their families. There were fights and tensions on a regular basis with deaths and injuries from violence or unsafe conditions feeling

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Lockdown, an overview of 2020 and more

Lockdown in Greece Since the beginning of November, Greece has been under a complete lock-down, with the restrictions expected to stay in place for most of December. Although the refugee camps were under an unjustified lockdown long before this, the second lockdown has affected its residents especially hard. Not only are basic “services” at the

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OHF “online” and in Athens

Lockdown 2.0 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

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Graffiti artwork

Harry, an old volunteer from Better Days, is currently making our containers at OHF much more colourful with a surprise graffiti artwork on its way. As you may remember, our previous two containers were right next to each other, and the School of Peace used the back of the containers as a safe area for

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Life at One Happy Family – when open

For many weeks until the beginning of November, the One Happy Family has been bubbling over again and an important part of this is the many projects of our partners. Some have started again after a long dry spell, some are completely new and some have moved their location to us. Back and full of

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Support options & info about the EU Migration Pact

Give relief and support for Christmas Some ideas for donations to organisations in which we trust and with which we collaborate. Support the rule of law: the Legal Centre Lesvos Empower refugee women: Glocal Roots Donate for unaccompanied children: Together for better days Support for LGBTQI*: Lesvos Lgbtiq+ Refugee Solidarity Enable sport’s activities: Yoga and Sports for Refugees Donate for

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Interesting articles of this month

Notes of despair In the ashes of Moria a note book of social workers was found. Its content reveals the sad reality of their everyday work in the safe zone for unaccompanied minors.  Greece Is Weaponizing the Coronavirus Vice reports from Chios in full, striking details. European Money for Closed Camps SamosToday reports on the EU financing the camps. A

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