Northern Greece

A Drop in the Ocean distributes food, clothes, and other items to meet essential needs in Nea Kavala refugee camp. In the heart of the camp, we offer non-formal education and organise activities such as sports and handicraft at our Drop Centre. We also support integration efforts through our InfoHub.

Foto: Kathrin Helen Siurek

Nea Kavala refugee camp 

Nea Kavala refugee camp is located in Northern Greece with around 1350 residents. The camp was originally built on the airstrip of a former military airport, but has since been rebuilt in close proximity to the previous site. In winter, the camp is exposed to strong winds and very cold weather. 

Camp residents have arrived in Greece over the mainland border or have been relocated from the islands, and many have lived in the camp for several years. 

The camp is crowded with tiny Isobox (ISO) containers, and some live in Rubb halls or tents. Most ISO containers consist of one room with a heater, but no kitchen or bathroom. Camp residents are affected by challenges such as tensions between residents and the mental strain of waiting for their asylum application to be processed.  

Photo: Kathrin Helen Siurek/Dråpen i Havet

Who lives in Nea Kavala camp? 

  • There are more than 1100  people in the camp 
  • 22% are women and 39% are children  
  • 57,2% of residents are from Afghanistan  
  • 14,4% are from Syria 
  • 5% from Somalia, 4,4% from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 4,1% from Iraq

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

What does A Drop in the Ocean do in Nea Kavala? 

A Drop in the Ocean distributes necessary items and organises various activities for Nea Kavala’s residents. In the heart of the camp lies our Drop Centres. Here, residents can attend various activities or meet for a cup of tea and a chat. Visitors can find a much-needed sense of normality and community through shared positive experiences of learning and empowerment.  

A Drop in the Ocean has a team on the ground consisting of experienced coordinators, international and community volunteer field workers. 

Our programme activities:  

1. Community Empowerment Mobilisation 

  • Sports activities 

A Drop in the Ocean organises various sports activities such as football, volleyball, Fitness and a running club. We organise football training for adults, and separate trainings exclusively for children. We also make sure the participants have the necessary sport equipment. At our volleyball court, residents can play six days a week. We offer a range of sports activities with separate trainings for women and men, for instance Fitness and our special running club exclusively for women.  

  • Tailoring

We have several sewing machines and provide sewing supplies for residents to make or fix desired clothes and other items. We also organise various workshops in our sewing room.  

  • Art class 

At our Drop Centre, we organise drawing and painting sessions where residents can express their creativity. Art class is open for both women and men, but we also organise separate women-only classes.  

  • Maker’s space 

In our maker’s space, residents can make furniture and use various tools. Our team also support and train residents when necessary.   

  • Study space 

In our study space, camp residents can access a library or computer and find a quiet place to concentrate. 

  • Youth Club

Through this project we aim to empower teenagers and give them a safe space where they can play, create and socialise together. 

2. Non-formal Education 

We offer non-formal education in IT, Greek and English to support educational development for camp residents. For our Greek classes, we have a certified teacher, while our volunteer field workers teach English. We also offer IT-courses at beginner level. 

3. Integration Support 

  • InfoHub 

At our Drop Centre, we run an InfoHub where camp residents can find information about accommodation, transportation, and other asylum procedures required to live and work in Greece. We also assist residents in finding work, creating CVs and cover letters, and prepare for job interviews. 

4. Humanitarian Aid 

  • Distributions 

Our field workers distribute food, clothes, and other essential items. On a monthly basis, we make food packs containing vegetables and/or dry food, distribute newborn baby packs, and diapers for children under three years. We also arrange for larger seasonal distributions of clothes.  

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.