The refugee crisis still persists in Greece, more than four years after its peak in 2015. A Drop in the Ocean was established because of this crisis, and we work continuously to help the refugees in Greece. This text will link refugee rights, with an emphasis on children’s rights, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as today is the United Nations Day. We want to use this day to highlight the rights of children and unaccompanied minors, as well as refugees in general, as the refugee crisis has cropped up quite heavily this early autumn. Our work with children and unaccompanied minors in the locations we operate will be highlighted in this article.
In between activities or during breaks you will probably find 23 year old Morteza outside the centre on one of our benches alongside Moria Village’s own 5th avenue. A cup of green tea in one hand and petting one of the many dogs with the other. He came across our centre a cold winter night in February 2019 when his usual go-to place was closed. A volunteer from another organisation mentioned there was a café open in Moria Village, so Morteza walked the 10-15 minutes to the Village to check the place out. After being pointed in the right direction, he arrived at the warm center and enjoyed a hot drink. Below, you can read more about how Morteza, one of the residents in Moria Refugee Camp, became a volunteer at the Drop Centre, and his experience with volunteering for A Drop in the Ocean the past eight months.
This weekend, on Sunday, a big fire started inside Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, and we have confirmed that at least two people are dead after the fire. Moria camp, which was set up to hold 3000 people, is now home to 12,000 people. That’s over 12,000 people living in dangerous, inhumane and unbearable conditions, with their lives on hold. Boats are still arriving with people everyday and now winter is approaching, making the conditions even worse.
From March 2019, A Drop in the Ocean have worked inside Moria Refugee camp, in Section B where we organize activities for unaccompanied male minors, and in August we started activities for unaccompanied children, girls below 18 and boys below 12, in the Safe Zone in Moria Camp. Two weeks ago we extended our work in Moria with our first medical personnel started working in the Kitrinos clinic inside Moria camp. Cecilie Holm-Johnsen and Laurie Tanner are two of our fieldworkers in our emergency team working inside Moria Refugee Camp. Below you can read more about what they do in the Kitrinos medical clinic, their patients, and their experiences from working with medical work in this overcrowed Refugee Camp.
This summer A Drop in the Ocean suspended our operation in the refugee camp Nea Kavala, Northern Greece due to ongoing safety concerns. Over the summer we have worked closely with the authorities and other present NGOs to try to address the safety issues. Although any camp environment will always have risks, we could at this stage not ignore the increased needs after the recent transfer of 1000 residents from Moria refugee camp, Lesvos to Nea Kavala. The camp is now home to around 2000 people living in difficult conditions. After a thorough risk assessment and because of the mentioned increase in people needing our services, we have decided that during October, we will restart our operation in the camp.