Blog

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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Build Communities not Camps

Build communities – not camps! Lesvos Solidarity – Pikpa, a solidarity structure which was created in 2012 by locals hosted refugees since years in dignified accommodation, welcoming some of the most vulnerable cases (such as victims of torture, victims of shipwreks, LGBTQI+ individuals, single parents etc.). The vulnerable people were officially referred to Pikpa –

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Help us to cover 4 invisible costs

Donate for our 4 invisible costs and become a hero of the admin of One Happy Family.Administration. What an unpopular word, what an unpopular task.We prefer to sweep the admin under the carpet, postpone it until later, ignore it and above all we don’t like to spend money on it.Unfortunately, nothing is possible without admin

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Meet Aref

Meet Aref. Happy to help anyone in any way he can, Aref has opted to spend all of his days as a volunteer: Monday to Friday at OHF, and his weekends at Movement on The Ground. Although he is a skilled tailor, Aref is happy to put his hand and mind to anything, in or

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Moria burnt down… 

On the night of the 8th September, a fire broke out and destroyed the whole Moria RIC. The fire started in several locations inside the camp after 35 people were tested positive for COVID and were told to isolate themselves within the camp without any proper quarantine facility.  Over 12700 people had to flee the

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What can you do?

Not what we need! Help create a social media storm to let the EU Commission know its Migration Pact is not the radical change that we need. Here is what you can do: 1: pick a text and post it with an image or video for Instagram, Facebook or Twitter from our social media pack,

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Finally: OHF opens again for everyone!

Providing help after the fire is difficult After the fire, the OHF team focused on providing health care everywhere where needed. The center stayed closed during this time. Reopening was scheduled for the 17th with the medical team of Medical Volunteers International restarting their clinic. The massive police force blocked all roads, in order to

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“A part of my heart will stay here with the people…”

What an energetic person Emma is! We were lucky enough to have her in our team as a longterm volunteer, totally motivated to keep on sharing OHFs spirit as well after she was leaving and already organized a Christmas market stand to raise funds for OHF by selling the amazing postcards made at the art

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One Happy Family “gives a piece of normality back”

A primary school teacher that takes a one year break to discover different things and then came to us, this is Barla, our amazing, funny, positive, smart, always smiling friend! Since she’s a teacher she mainly taught in the Adult school but was also always there for any other daily tasks that we needed her

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“One Happy Family is a safe bubble”

Jojo, 23, Student in Educational Studies in History, Politics and Sports My most memorable moment is…  When we organised the first football tournament and saw that everybody was so happy afterwards. What struck me the most is…  How the whole situation is setting up refugees for failure. People lack access to the most basic things they

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Refugee story tellers Episode 3: The Change Makers

Khudadad explores how staying active is helping refugees in Moria to stay positive despite living in dire conditions. He talks to four inspirational refugees, Yaya, Amir, Fifi and Ahmad who use their time in Lesvos to help others and improve their lives. Amir, a refugee from Afghanistan, works as a tailor making bags out of

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Refugee story tellers Episode 2: Praying For Disease

“Living under inhumane circumstances in the refugee camp Moria in Lesvos, Greece, people do everything they can in order to get a vulnerability paper from the doctors. It is said, that if you are vulnerable, the authorities will move you away from the camp to better circumstances. In this episode, we listen to the voice

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One Happy Podcast #9

In this episode we will talk about different topics: First, Mary from the Pedagogical Institute of LA that volunteered in One Happy Family for few weeks, will explain what ‘The Nest’ is and how and who started it, what it can offer to children and why it is very important here. Then 3 of our

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‘’ We need to keep fighting for people’s human rights!‘’

Lily Peck, 27, agriculture/ plant sciences PhD student from England For the past 5 weeks Lily has been working with us in One Happy Family for the second time this year. After this experience, she wants to raise more awareness in her home country. ‘’People think that the crisis here on Lesvos is over. It

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One Happy Podcast #8

This Episode is all about recording, editing and creating Radio. We present you the Radio Lesvos workshop in One Happy Family, organised and led by the three amazing volunteers Amelie, Clement and Adrien from Monobloc. Amelie will explain what they wanted to achieve in their workshop, how it went, what participants learnt and why One

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One Happy Podcast #7

This week we talk about how people deal with foreign languages and situations where they got misunderstood, had an awkward situation or laughed because of funny mistakes. We will also introduce the professional skills workshop with Danielle and Cliff. What was important for them while they were here, how did people participate and what skills

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One Happy Podcast #6

  Listen to what our one and only Colombian volunteer did in her 2 and a half months on the island. Laugh with us about what’s going on behind the scenes of our Podcast production and in the end Aimerance will talk with us about her daily tasks and her work in One Happy Family. 

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One Happy Podcast #5

This Episode is all about the One Happy Family currency the ‘Drachma’. What is Drachma? Where does this name come from? Where can I use Drachma? How many Drachmas do I need for a tea or a coffee?  How does the new recycling idea for the café work? How much costs a shampoo? What do

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One Happy Podcast #4

This episode is all about the volunteers.  We chat with Sam, who volunteered in One Happy Family for 2 months. If you want to know how your time as a volunteer in OHF could look like, listen to Sam’s stories, experiences, laughter and statements. We also asked Aimerance, who works in the Café how she

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One Happy Podcast #3

Sam, Zahra, Ali, Paul, Clara, Emilia, Mindy, Reza are helpers, volunteers and visitors of One Happy Family. In our 3rd Podcast we asked them what their favourite part of #OneHappyFamily is. Primary health care, sort out medical histories, treat chronic illnesses and acute problems, assist in social and psychological problems; @DocMobile is doing a lot

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One Happy Podcast #2

One Happy Family würde nicht existieren ohne unsere wunderbaren Helfer und Voluntäre aus der ganzen Welt! In der heutigen Ausgabe treffen wir Menschen, die im Community Center Freiwilligenarbeit leisten. Hört, zu in welchen Projekten sie arbeit und wie sie von ihren Lieblingsmomenten im Projekt erzählen. Wir hoffen euch gefällt unser neuer Podcast! Nächste Woche publizieren

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One Happy Podcast #1

Nach Workshops, Trainings und Hingabe freuen wir uns, dass unser kleines Radioteam nun die erste Episode unserer neuen Podcast-Show “One Happy Podcast” veröffentlicht hat. “One Happy Podcast” ist ein neues Projekt, das Aktivitäten und Geschichten von #OneHappyFamily umfasst. Wir schauen gründlich in die verschiedenen Aktivitäten und Projekte im Zentrum und hören Geschichten von inspirierenden Gästen,

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‘Kindness can go a long way’

Ashley and Jordan Johnsen Living in the United States, Ashley and Jordan Johnsen know the refugee crises is a hot topic. But with Trump as their president, they say there is not a lot of information about displaced people. A reason to come to Lesvos to see the situation themselves. ‘Trump dominates our news cycle.

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‘Refugees are not from a different planet’

Gaelle Dietrich Gaelle Dietrich volunteers in a center for refugees in Germany. To learn more about what these people are going through, she decided to go to Lesvos. ‘I wanted to go a little bit further in the work I am doing. I felt the need to see where the people I work with have

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‘My impact starts now’

Tina Leiser She decided to go to Lesvos because she felt the need to know what refugees in Europe go through. After this experience, Tina Leiser is ready to raise awareness in Switzerland. ‘I know my impact in Lesvos was really small. But I needed to come here to understand the whole situation. Now I

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