About seven months ago, November 23rd 2016, our first Drop Market opened at Nea Kavala refugee camp. On what must have been a chilly Wednesday morning, our very first customer was a family who “bought”, amongst other things, two pairs of winter shoes, a belt and a coat. Since then, we have distributed more than 35,000 items to around 500 families. Now, we’re celebrating a turnover of one million “Drops”.
We would like to introduce you to A Drop in the Ocean’s Athens warehouse, which is essential to our distribution efforts in Skaramagas camp, and is where donations from volunteers and supporters are delivered, sorted and packaged for the baby-clothing exchange and our Skaramagas marketplace.
Today we mark the annual World Refugee Day.
There are currently more than 65 million forcibly displaced people in the world. That is roughly the population of the United Kingdom.
22.5 million of these are refugees. That means that they have crossed an international boarder in search of protection. Half of the worlds refugees are under the age of 18.
According to the United Nations, 24 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror every minute.
The gentleman in his forties on crutches comes up to me. He is telling me that it`s his last night in the camp, as he is moving on to Athens. I notice something that looks like tears in the corner of his eyes. He thanks us for everything the Drops do for the people in Souda camp.
A Drop in the Ocean receives a large amount of donations in terms clothing, shoes and equipment, that we distribute to the refugees. Most is divided between the different refugee camps, but a small portion of the donated clothes are deemed to be unfit for the people that we a primarily seeking to help.