Projects

Northern Greece

Northern Greece is the region where Human Aid Now started helping refugees, in the summer of 2016. Throughout the years, we have started, supported and executed a wide variety of projects in the region; from Katerini to Kavala. These have included:

  • The distribution of food, clothes, hygiene items and more.
  • The celebration of children’s birthdays with cookies and cake.
  • The construction of tent floors, a library, a kitchen and more.
  • The explanation of refugees’ asylum procedures and support in their family reunification cases.

We would like to highlight some of the projects that we started in the region:

  1. In the summer of 2016, together with the local mayor and community, we built and started a small kitchen in Kalochori. There we cooked 500-700 meals per day, distributing to Iliadis Camp in Kalochori and to the homeless in Thessaloniki. The kitchen was a shared effort with many great volunteers and other NGOs and is still active in Greece today.
  2. At the Istron Hotel in Giannitsa, we initiated a 7 NGO partnership to support the 150 refugees who were stationed there. The needs were widespread and complex, because there were more than a dozen highly pregnant women and over 20 children under one year old. There was black mold in the rooms and no food, diapers or other indispensable items. We supplied the essential from day 1 and we called on the local NGO community to secure a long-term solution.
  3. Currently, we are supporting The Mobile Info Team, who, under the supervision of our Hero Michael Kientzle, provide legal information to thousands of refugees and assist several families in their reunification procedures. It is wonderful to see separated families come back together!

If you want to help, please contact us.

Southern Greece

Athens has mainly been a logistical hub for us to ship large donations to the islands. However, around Athens there are several refugee settlements where we have supported projects. These have all come through our close partners, foodKIND. Through the Help a Hero! program, we have been supporting their coordinator since November 2017. Over the course of this time, they have been able to cook, pack and distribute hundreds of thousands of meals with pots and other kitchen equipment that we provided.

In Patras, they prepared two meals per day for the hundreds of refugees that were living in abandoned buildings. When these refugees were resettled, our former Hero Almut arranged an extraordinary collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs. Currently, the team, under coordination of our current Hero, Brittany, is cooking together with refugees in two camps close to the town of Dilesi.

If you want to help, please contact us.

Greece Islands

Over the course of the years, we have provided food, hygiene, medical and clothing assistance to refugees on different islands. We have regularly supported initiatives on Samos, Lesbos and Tilos and sporadically shipped donations to Chios, where we delivered several pallets of clothes and hygiene items, and Leros, where we provided a pallet of new women’s underwear. On Samos and Lesbos, we have been more extensively active through our Help a Hero! programme, specifically:

  1. We support Sophie from the Med’EqualiTeam, with whom we started the only free medical clinic on the island. With approximately 50 patients per day, 6 days per week, we are making a quintessential impact for the 4,500 refugees living in horrific conditions on the island.
  2. We supported Jitske from Because We Carry, who has amazingly supervised and coordinated hundreds of volunteers on Lesbos. Together, they prepared 1300 breakfasts per day for Kara Tepe Camp and twice per week cleaned the infamous Moria Camp.

If you want to help, please contact us.

The Netherlands

For the last 2 years, every Tuesday, we collect between 600 and 800kg of perishable food, which we distribute to shelters housing about 150 homeless refugees in and around Amsterdam. The donated food includes fruits and vegetables, dairy items, eggs and other perishables like fresh pasta or prepared salads close to their sell-by date. All perfectly good and nutritious food that would be destroyed otherwise!!! In addition, we purchase non-perishable essential items like oil, rice, dried pulse, salt, etc.

We also contribute to the maintenance and the viability of the shelters. In the last year we have installed showers, repaired heating installations, replaced broken windows, etc. We have collected and distributed mattresses, pillows, bedding, washing machines, fridges, pots and pans and more.

Last but not least, we distribute clothes, shoes, mobile phones, hygiene items and cleaning products.

If you want to help, please contact us.

Calais and Dunkirk

2.000 to 3.000 refugees live in Northern France. The population includes families (with babies as young as a couple of weeks!), pregnant women, elderly and disabled people and a large group of unaccompanied minors.

The quasi-totality of those refugees do not wish to stay in France. They have family in the UK and want to claim asylum there. The problem is that UK immigration laws only allow to start an asylum procedure once you reached UK territory, and for those people there is no legal and safe way to enter the UK. This is why they risk their lives, trying to crossover in trucks or rickety boats.

Since the destruction of the so-called “Jungle” in October 2016, the refugees live there in total deprivation. They are sleeping rough in the forests and wastelands, access to water and toilets has been terminated, charities and refugees face harassment and violence from the police, and women and children are at risk of sexual exploitation. Jacques Toubon, France’s human rights ombudsman, called their situation “inhumane and degrading”. The only relief is provided by the NGOs on the ground, who every day distribute clothes, blankets, food and other first necessity items. We support those NGOs with volunteers and a bi-monthly trucks full of emergency supplies. We also fund the purchase of essential items that are seldomly donated: Tents, emergency blankets, rain ponchos, non-perishable food (rice), etc

If you want to help, please contact us.

Paris

Paris is awful, beyond words awful. There are currently about 1.500 refugees living in the streets of Paris. The police will not tolerate the formation of any large permanent camp and in most locations are clearing away camps every morning, mostly allowing the refugees to keep their possessions. The refugees disappear during the day and come back to pitch their tent at night. This has the effect that to the general public, the refugees have all but disappeared which is not the case.

The material situation is bad: rickety tents for the lucky ones, straight in the open air for the rest, no hygiene installation (neither clean water nor latrines), mud, garbage, excrements and rats everywhere.

Worst of all is the drug situation. Last year there where about 20-40 homeless drug addicts in the North of Paris. There was a “salle de shoot”, a safe place where they could get clean needles and counselling. They were camping in their own dedicated area, away from the refugees. This year the “salle de shoot” has been closed and the police have herded the refugees and the drug addicts to the same places. The result is devastating. There are probably 200-300 addicts now within the refugee population. Lots of young men, children really, their beautiful faces and eyes with nothing behind them. It’s like walking in a zombie world, there is nobody inside those bodies anymore. Those young people living in an awful situation without hope or the support of their family and community are easy to convince to accept something that will make them feel better, to escape it all. The dealers give the first 2 shots for free, the 3rd one costs €5, and then the price increases. This in turn has brought criminality and prostitution. It is absolutely heart breaking.

Because of the drug situation, distribution of life saving items is very complicated. Addicts will sell anything for a next hit. This is why volunteers are forced to distribut at night, between 12.00 pm and 6 am. During the day it’s very difficult to know whether someone asking for a tent really needs one or wants one to sell. At night, someone sleeping outside under a thin blanket in 0C in the rain is definitely someone in need.

We support the teams on the ground with volunteers, collected items like blankets and clothes and funds to acquire tents, emergency blankets, rain ponchos, etc

If you want to help, please contact us.

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