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.
In 2018 Arlette Augustin worked as a volunteer fieldworker in Nea Kavala in Northern-Greece. Read more about what made her sign up and her experience from volunteering in Nea Kavala Refugee Camp here.
Since 2015, 6000 volunteers from 60 different countries have travelled from their own countries to work with A Drop in the Ocean in Greece. These volunteers are the backbone of our operations, and without them in the field the work of A Drop in the Ocean would not be possible. While most volunteers travel alone, Lars Bremnes chose to take his whole family, and in autumn 2018 he and his wife Mari and their two children made the journey to Greece – Lars as Volunteer Coordinator and Mari as a volunteer field worker. They worked for A Drop in the Ocean while also being full-time parents and acting as teachers for their children. They were there for two and a half months, but it was an experience that will continue to make its mark on the whole family for much longer than that. This article also appears in the Annual Report 2018. Read the entire report here.
In early 2018, our operation in Northern Greece at Nea Kavala camp served around 300 residents and another 100 people living in UN accommodation in the local area. We ran a laundry service, weekly food distributions and a regular free shop where people could access clothes and hygiene products. We ran a wood workshop where people could build or repair things for their containers, or help out their neighbours and learn a new skill. Our bike rental was very popular with men and women wanting a bit of freedom to explore the local town.