Athens

In Skaramagas camp, A Drop in the Ocean distributes clothes, diapers, and other necessary items. We also support integration efforts and provide psychosocial well-being through our activities in the camp.

Foto: Romain Kosellek

Skaramagas refugee camp 

With about 2700 residents, Skaramagas camp is one of the largest refugee camps in mainland Greece. Located in a port town, most camp residents live in Isobox containers with electricity, running water, and a bathroom. People find themselves stuck in limbo whilst living in Skaramagas, as they are waiting for a response to their asylum application.  

Although conditions are better than on the Greek islands, camp residents meet many challenges with disease outbreaks, overcrowding and the mental strain of waiting for a response to their asylum applications.

Skaramagas refugee camp in Athens. The majority of camp residents live in isobox-containers with access to water and electricity. Photo: Sina Hansen

Who lives in Skaramagas camp? 

  • There are more than 1500 people in the camp  
  • 23% are women and 32% are children  
  • 32,6 % of residents are from Afghanistan 
  • 30% are from Syria
  • 14,9% from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 7,8 % from Iraq,  5,6% from Congo and 5% from Iran

Source: International Organization for Migration (IOM), May 2021

What does A Drop in the Ocean do in Skaramagas? 

A Drop in the Ocean distributes necessary items and offers a variety of activities supporting psychosocial well-being for children, youth, women and men in the camp. We run our own Women Space and Drop Centre inside the camp, with various activities designed to have a positive impact on the residents. Our Drop Centre is located in the heart of the camp and has become an active meeting space.  

A Drop in the Ocean has a team on the ground consisting of experienced coordinators, and international, local and community volunteer field workers. We have been present in the camp since 2016. 

Please note that we are no longer accepting any volunteer applications for Skaramagas due to its imminent closure upon a decision of the Greek government.

Our programme activities: 

1. Community Empowerment Mobilisation 

  • Women and Baby Space 

This place is established to give mothers a private and intimate time with their babies, but women without children are also welcome. Here, they can take care of their children, change diapers, bathe their babies, get support and interact with other mothers, and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. No men are allowed inside. 

  • Children’s activities 

We offer a room for children to play, draw, and do arts and crafts. This is a space where children get a short break from their daily reality of life in a refugee camp. 

  • Tailoring 

We have several sewing machines and equipment for camp residents to make their own clothes and designs. The sewing room has become an important meeting place for women, and we also use it for different workshops. 

  • Hope library 

Our library contains a growing number of international books and literature for all ages. Residents can read in the library or check books out to take home. Camp residents can also use the library to relax and socialise.  

  • Teenage Space 

In our Drop Centre we provide a space for youth between the ages of 12 and 17. This is a safe environment where teens can challenge their creativity, empower themselves, and build different skills valuable for their future. We serve tea and snacks, while the teens can enjoy activities such as movies, crafts, dancing, board games, yoga, and photography.  

2. Non-Formal Education 

A Drop in the Ocean offers non-formal education in English and IT. Our English lessons are open for adults, on a beginner level and up to more complex grammar and conversation levels. Our IT course is a basic level class. We design our programmes to be accommodating and flexible as not to exclude people unable to commit to formal education. 

3. Integration Support 

  • InfoHub 

We have an InfoHub at our Drop Centre where camp residents can find information about housing, transport, and work permissions for asylum seekers. We support residents with work applications, writing CVs and resumes, and preparation for job interviews.  

4. Humanitarian Aid 

  • Distributions 

A Drop in the Ocean distributes season-appropriate clothing and hygiene items when necessary. We open our free Drop Shop for seasonal distributions in the summer and winter, so camp residents can find what they need in a dignified manner. When needed, we open the shop for new arrivals to the camp.  

Elefsina 

Upon request, we distribute clothes in Elefsina refugee camp. The camp is located about 30 km outside Athens and 16 km from Skaramagas refugee camp.   

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.