We’ve spent nearly £14000 on aid in the first half of this year! Thank you for making this happen!

Expenditure update Jan 2018 – Jun 2018

  • What a year it’s been so far, and not without its challenges! Nearly 60,000 refugees remain in Greece, the hotspot camps on the islands remain over double their capacity. People are still arriving. There are still many gaps in care and aid, and we continue to do our best to help plug these. Fundraising has been particularly challenging, possibly due to the lack of media coverage on the situation. Regardless of this, made possible by our supporters, we have spent nearly £14,000 on helping and supporting refugees in Greece in the first 6 months of this year.
  • £526 has been spent shipping donated clothes, toiletries and baby items to Greece for distribution through a number of the projects we support.
  • £440 has been provided to Tiafi, an organisation on the western coast of Turkey to provide transport for disabled/injured refugee children to their rehabilitation centre.
  • £278 has been spent on The Khora info map project in Athens.
  • £871 has been spent on providing underwear for refugees in one of the camps in Athens through The Unmentionables.
  • £1418 has been spent on the hygiene kit project in Leros, working with ECHO100Plus.
  • £560 has been spent on food for the refugee community in Rhodes in collaboration with Oasis.
  • £2837 has provided a refurbished shower, a changing room, the conversion of a classroom plus food for The Orange House in Athens.
  • £972 has provided baby items amongst other needs for the refugees in Leros in collaboration with Leros Solidarity Network.
  • £1132 has been sent to Samos Volunteers to help provide necessary resources for their drop in centre for the refugee community on Samos.
  • £511 has been spent on food for Nea Kavala Art Without Borders.
  • £3652 has been sent as a grant to ECHO100Plus for use in The Hub drop in centre on Leros.
  • £241 has provided food vouchers for vulnerable refugees in Athens through the Greek Council for Refugees.
  • And, because we are a small, voluntary run charity, it means we have kept our running/admin costs down to under 3% at £350.
  • We couldn’t have done any of this without the generous donations of our supporters, and the amazing fundraising efforts of our supporting partners- Bearwood Action For Refugees, Kings Heath Action For Refugees and St Peters Mission Group. Thank you for your ongoing support, without which we wouldn’t have made the difference we have.

2500 pairs of undies. FUNDED!

Thanks to you, we have funded the provision of 2500 pairs of undies for residents of the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens. Here’s what he distribution team wrote about their experience.

On the 20th June it was World Refugee Day. Today, more than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution. That is equivalent to the population of the world’s 20th largest country, with over 60,000 refugees based in Greece. Each year World Refugee Day reminds us to think about what more we can we do to help and commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.

This year, a team of us from Durex (RB) in the UK were inspired to help. We have partnered with The Unmentionables, who are a non-governmental organisation helping forcibly removed individuals and communities around the world by providing them with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education, services, protection and empowerment programs. Together we are on a mission to provide vital sexual & reproductive health materials to refugees.

This World Refugee Day, with the help of ASN UK, we were able to distribute underwear to 2,000 refugees in Athens – fulfilling a basic need that we all take for granted.

We spent the day at Eleonas Refugee Camp, which is home to 2,500 people. They live in 275 former shipping containers, each is home to multiple families. Many NGO’s are based in the camp; they are essential in providing clothes, activities and education to those who live there.

Throughout the day, we sorted through 2,500 pairs of underwear that we collected the day before – we had enough to fill 4 shopping trollies and 2 wheelbarrows! When distributing the underwear, we met families from all over the world, some who had been there for over 2 years. It was a truly humbling experience, judging by the amount of excitement a pair clean underwear brought, it’s clear how crucial the work charities like The Unmentionables and ASN UK do.

Photography isn’t permitted in the camp, but we did manage to get a couple of photos of our day:

We have been completely inspired by the work that The Unmentionables and ASN UK do, making such a massive impact to refugees every day. In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees.

See you for World Refugee Day next year!

Zoom in on ECHO100PLUS

For refugee week this year, we are focusing on the projects we support in turn.

Zoom in on ECHO100PLUS

ECHO100PLUS is an Austrian organisation which responded to the refugee crisis in Greece by setting up in Ritsona and Leros.

Whilst in Ritsona there was a shortage of water in summer 2016, we helped to fund 7500 bottles for distribution by ECHO, but the bulk of our work with them has been in Leros. It was in Leros in 2016 that our incredible relationship was formed with ECHO, and we started to work together to provide tailor made hygiene kits on a regular basis for the residents of PIKPA and Villa Artemis. We funded the supplies and ECHO did the ground work in shopping, packing and distributing.

This project is still running today and has been really successful. ECHO manage a resource centre in Leros called The Hub. This initiative is unique on the island, and provides a number of resources and activities for the refugee community.

ECHO manages a motivated and passionate team of volunteers who work hard to really make a difference. We have supported The Hub by financing an interactive whiteboard as well as more recently contributing towards their sewing project.

The team at ECHO are incredible and we really value our partnership with them.

Zoom in on The Khora

The Khora was a multi storey building in Athens which offered an amazing range of facilities, and support initiatives for refugees in the city to use on a drop in centre style basis. It also offered hundreds of lunches each day to people in need.

The centre was run by a cooperative group of volunteers and established itself as a vital resource for the refugee community.

We sponsored 2 projects at The Khora- the 1st was a rooftop garden project- which allowed produce for the kitchen to be grown on the roof, and the project ran successfully for nearly 2 years.

The 2nd is an information map project. The maps are produced in various relevant languages providing information on vital services that the refugee community have access to, but might not know about. The centrefold of each booklet has a map pinpointing each resource in the city.

Imagine arriving in a foreign city, not speaking the language, with limited resources- these maps have proved hugely beneficial, so much so that they have been available in The Khora centre as well as given out during outreach work.

For various reasons, The Khora have had to move from their current building and are currently in the process of looking for new premises, however recognising the value of the information maps, they want to continue this project even whilst still looking for new premises. We sponsor the resources needed to produce the maps- ie printing and paper.

Thank you for helping us continue to support this vital resource.

Zoom in on The Orange House

Zoom in on The Orange House

The first time we went to The Orange House, we were overwhelmed with the warm, welcoming, friendly atmosphere inside.

The centre is run by the Greek grassroot NGO called Zaatar whom we have developed a fabulous working relationship with. The building is home to up to 25 vulnerable refugee women who are often referred to the centre.

The ethos is that The Orange House will provide temporary shelter to the women whilst they establish and build a new life in Athens, and get into work to become self sufficient.

The centre is all about maintaining the residents dignity, and volunteers are not allowed into the women’s living space on the 1st floor.

The centre also has a common social space which acts as a safe environment for the residents and refugees in the city to share. The centres values on respect and inclusion are always upheld, and must be respected by visitors.

The Orange House now has several classrooms (we recently funded the conversion of a new classroom), and these offer lessons and classes in a variety of topics for the city’s refugee community.

In addition- a shower is on offer for people from the camps and squats to use and we recently funded its much needed renovation. The residents and volunteers also cook a number of lunch meals available for those in need, and we help fund food supplies when we can.

It really is an amazing place, and offers so much. We are really proud to be part of its success.

Zoom in on Leros Solidarity Network

For refugee week this year, we want to focus on some of the projects and organisations we support and work with.

ASN Team UK began as a sister organisation to Leros Solidarity Network. In the height of the crisis in summer 2015, Leros was overlooked by the large aid organisations due to its small size and remote location.

The island was completely overwhelmed by the hundreds upon hundreds of daily arrivals of refugees. Bearing in mind the islands population is only around 8000, it gives you a sense of the enormity of what was happening.

Leros is unlike the other islands which saw and still see refugees arrive directly to their shores. Instead, the Lerian authorities are responsible to collect refugees who had arrived on the small rocky outcrop island called Farmakonisi which only hosts a small military presence for a population.

Leros Solidarity Network pioneered the volunteer movement on Leros, and it was this small group of locals and holiday makers who were paramount in plugging the gaps in care for refugees when the islands authorities ran out of money or were unable to provide adequate resources.

In 2015 with the support of their international friends, LSN acquired the use of a small villa in the grounds of the islands hospital. Villa Artemis was used as a shelter for the most vulnerable cases identified from the makeshift camp in the islands port police yard. It is still used to this day for vulnerable families and single women from the refugee community to live in.

Spring 2016 saw LSN renovate and transform a disused hospital unit into a safe residence for vulnerable refugees, mainly the elderly, families, disabled and unaccompanied minors. Funded solely by donations, PIKPA was born. This was an incredible achievement and continues to operate successfully today.

Leros is home to one of the infamous hotspot refugee camps and the island currently holds around 900 refugees according to recent UNHCR data.

LSN continues to support the refugee community on the island, and in turn- we support LSN as and when we can. We have financially supported them in their work in Villa Artemis, PIKPA, by helping to finance food and more recently baby items.

Visit our website to find out more and donate to help us continue to make a

difference.

It’s Refugee Week

Nearly 3 years ago, we set out to raise some money to help fund food for refugees in Leros, Greece.

You supported us, put your faith in us, donated and helped share our message of solidarity and hope.

We’ve come a long way since then, and have expanded our outreach throughout Greece.

Thanks to you we’re helping even more people-providing dignity, food, education, accommodation, medical supplies, outreach, clothing, hygiene items, baby supplies, amongst other needs.

It’s refugee week, and we want to say THANK YOU for being on the journey with us. SHARE us to help amplify our message, FOLLOW US to keep up to date with what’s going on, DONATE to help us change more lives. Explore our website to find out how you can be part of something amazing.

London College of Communication

Just arrived back home after an amazing day in London at the London College of Communication.

We pitched ASN Team UK to a group of BA students a couple of months back, and they have been working hard to deliver their vision of concepts in marketing, branding, video campaigning etc. which would take ASN Team UK to the next level.

Well the tables were turned today and 5 groups of students pitched their ideas to us.

We were absolutely blown away by their talent, professionalism, passion and visions and hope to work with them all to integrate their ideas into what we do.

Thank you guys for all your hard work, it was truly inspirational and what an amazing experience for us.

May’s news roundup!

As part of our ongoing commitment to Leros Solidarity Network in Leros, we continue to help provide baby items for the refugee families in Leros. We spent this afternoon sorting and packing donated baby items that will be winging their way to Leros this week. It was hot work!!!

In addition, we also send donated toiletries to Leros and to The Orange House in Athens on a regular basis.

A couple of weeks ago, we joined St Peters Mission Group in West Sussex for a fundraising tea party. Thank you to the amazing team there for hosting such a successful event, as we are funded solely by donations- this support is vital to enable us to continue what we do.

Also this month, we had a team running at the British Airways Run Gatwick event in Crawley.

As ever, there’s lots going on! And as for the situation in Greece- sadly, it’s no better. People are still arriving, the island hotspot camps are over double their capacity with around 15,000 residents. The Greek mainland continues to host several 10s of thousands of refugees. Organisations are short of donations and volunteers, largely due to the fact that as the situation is off our news- it’s out of people’s minds.

Please help us by spreading the word about our work. We are completely volunteer run, so people’s donations have maximum impact in making a positive difference to the lives of refugees in Greece. Thank you for your support.

A transformation in The Orange House

Over the last month, we have supplied funding to The Orange House in Athens to provide some vital renovation to the centre. In the buildings basement was a shower which was in a dire, run down state. The shower is used by refugees from the squats who have no access to hot water. We have funded the complete renovation of the shower to provide a dignified shower for use of the refugee community. Prior to renovations- people were getting changed in a store room and were accessing the shower via the small kitchen used by volunteers who cook meals for the refugee community. This was far from ideal, and our funding has enabled a dignified changing room to be created as well as access to the shower from the changing room. This has meant access via the kitchen has been closed up allowing the kitchen to function more efficiently. But that’s not all! The project also provided funding for the conversion of a store type room into a further classroom which will allow even more learning to take place in the centre.

This is an incredible achievement and as we are solely funded by donations- it’s our supporters who have made this possible. Thank you! Our social media platforms have provided a video diary of the work, so we have collated these videos for our website followers to watch…