We have had the privilege of supporting ASN Team UK for the last 3 years, and their commitment and unrelenting support for essential grassroots projects is inspirational. We look forward to working together for many years to come.
As a small grassroots initiative, Za’atar NGO works with a very small budget so every bit of help matters. We are so grateful for the support of ASN as its contribution has truly made a difference. ASN’s support enabled us to renovate our shower facilities, which provide an essential service to many refugees and migrants who lack such facilities in the squats and other living arrangements. Their contribution also supported the renovation of a new classroom to expand our courses in English, Greek, German, French, and Spanish. Their support has also helped fund our LGBT program, ATLAS.
The ASN’s contribution additionally provided fresh food for our women’s shelter, a safe space for female refugees and migrants located above the community center. The generosity of ASN enabled women from countries such as Syria, Pakistan, and Congo to have access to fresh and nutritious food, a basic but essential component of creating stability during a time of such challenging transition.
We are so grateful for the contributions of ASN and their support to our mission of providing dignified and essential services to refugees living in Athens.
We met the founders of ASN Team UK – Denise Mercer, Joel Gage and Nicola North – on Leros island when we were all volunteering alongside the main aid provider – the Leros Solidarity Network – in the peak of the refugee crisis. This was a challenging time when hundreds of refugees arrived daily – the summer of 2015, which changed us all forever. Since then the three founders evolved and branched off into the ASN Team UK. From the UK they relentlessly support the refugee aid initiatives on the island by regularly sending funds to ECHO100Plus and LSN to stock up hygiene items, or by sending donations in kind, clothes, hygiene items, shoes and other much-needed items. What makes ASN so unique, however, is that the founders regularly leave their full-time jobs to return to the island to ask questions, identify new needs and uphold personal relationships. Since Echo100Plus is permanently active on the ground running an educational day centre for refugees, we have received enormous and reliable support from ASN – delivered in the most direct and unbureaucratic way. When we initiated an emergency call for drinking water because the army failed to provide enough for camp residents, ASN immediately responded by sending funds to boost water rations at camp; when we started a sewing project at the HUB, ASN responded by sending us boxes full of fabrics and sewing machines from the UK. Most beneficial is ASN sponsoring of a bi-weekly hygiene distribution for residents of PIPKA, a shelter for the most vulnerable refugees on the island. As authorities cannot provide hygiene items, we purchase washing detergents, shampoos, dental care and other sanitary items, which our volunteers distribute to the PIKPA residents on a bi-monthly interval. Without the dedication of ASN founders and their fantastic circle of supporters who keep up the fundraising efforts with creative new ideas and energy, this would never be possible. Thank you all who make up ASN, and we are so very grateful and honoured to have your trust!