A Drop in the Ocean has been working with displaced persons on Lesvos since 2015. On the 9th of September 2020, Moria Refugee Camp burned down. This fire came in addition to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, and Lesvos declared four months of state of emergency.
Kara Tepe Camp
After the Moria fire, 13,000 people stood without a roof over their head. Many were relocated to the mainland, and 7,800 asylum seekers were resettled in the new temporary site of Kara Tepe. In Kara Tepe Camp, the majority are of Afghan origin (76 percent). Seven percent have fled from Syria, additionally seven percent from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and three percent are from Somalia. Two percent are from Iraq, and the remaining six percent from other countries. Over 60 percent of camp residents are women and children.
The new site is still in a stage of emergency. The geographic location is extremely prone to the consequences of storm and heavy rain, and with the winter approaching it will be even worse.
Our activities are:
The living conditions for the inhabitants of Kara Tepe is extremely difficult. Our team continue to monitor the situation and provide assistance wherever it is needed, often in cooperation with other organisations.
A Drop in the Ocean provides residents with a laundry service. In collaboration with the organisation The Dirty Girls of Lesvos Island, we clean clothes to medical standards as one out of many measures to prevent the spreading of scabies and other diseases.
Mother and baby space
Our team on the ground also provides a Mother and baby space. In a UNICEF tent, mothers can enjoy a warm cup of tea and craft activities, while their babies play under a close watch in a safe environment. This space brings much-needed relief to mothers and their children; they can access various activities and find a sense of normalcy.
Activities for older children
Outside of the tent where our Mother and baby space occurs, we also organise activities for older children. Activities range from arts and learning activities, to football and frisbee.
We continue to support unaccompanied minors (UAMs) now living outside of camp, in a safe space. Since 2019 and until September 2020, we have worked inside Moria Camp organising activities for UAMs. Our previous experience working with this group has been very helpful. Together with the children, we arrange arts and crafts activities, games, and physical activities. In our experience, it is especially important for this vulnerable group, to have some activities to attend in their difficult everyday life.
Due to the situation of Covid-19, changes to the activities might occur. We always ensure infection prevention by following various infection control measures, in accordance with the guidelines of the Greek authorities.
To volunteer with us on Lesvos we require that you can volunteer for a minimum of four weeks and quarantine in advance. Our age requirement is from 23 years and up Introduction and training in the field takes place on Thursdays every week. You cannot volunteer with us before having gone through this training.
Due to the nature of the projects we will be responsible for inside the refugee camp Kara Tepe, as well as the operational context, we are only looking to recruit volunteers with a relevant work background and a specific sets of skill.
As of now, we are seeking voluntary field workers educated and experienced in working with children (i.e. social workers, psychologists, teachers, pre-school teachers) and who have previously been working with children in refugee camps. Additionally, we are looking for field workers who have experience within WASH, and/or people who have the flexibility and necessary skills to take on various work tasks related to carpentry, engineering, plumbing, etc.
It is highly recommended for volunteers to rent a car if they are to volunteer with us in this area. A Drop in the Ocean is not responsible for volunteers’ transportation. Volunteers can carpool with other volunteers at the location and split the costs. We want to disclose that living costs are somewhat more expensive on the islands than on the mainland, especially during the summer season.