With your generous donations, SURF was able to pay for bread, milk, rice, fruits, and other food items. These items will feed hundreds of refugees and their children. These people have had little or no bread or milk in the past week, and they are very grateful and appreciative to receive such a generous donation. They ask me to send special thank you, hugs and kisses to every donor and person participated in this noble mission.
Please continue your support of the SURF mission, you are all making a huge difference in the refugees’ life, their struggle is less painful because of you.
Visit our donation page today to find out how you can support SURF.
Organizing one of the squat’s warehouse (before and after). Special thank you to the Spanish team who volunteered to help out in this project.
Fun time with the children at one of the refugees’ squat. Everyone was excited to express their own ideas and visions. Aftermath clean up is a different story….
Hundreds of refugees’ children have not gone to school for a very long time. The war in Syria made it unsafe for them to attend school. Furthermore, they have been in transition seeking a safe place to call home for many years.
Here in Greece (and in many other countries that took the refugees in), the local community has been extremely supportive of the refugees crisis. They opened their own homes to shelter vulnerable refugees. They supported the use of abandoned schools and buildings to host hundreds of other refugees. They opened their classrooms and enrolled dozens of children in education programs including local language and several international languages.
The locals have formed committees who meet with the refugees leadership team on a weekly basis. They discuss the refugees’ needs, and explore all support options available. They advocate and coordinate with the local schools to find the right fit for the Syrian children, and they collect donated food/clothing from the local residents and bring them to the shelters.
Today, we took a few new families with their children to register for a school close to the squat. The principal and the teachers were very excited to meet the children and gave them hugs, kisses, and gave them apples and chocolate.
In the afternoon, generous volunteers bought a cotton candy machine. We gathered the children who were very excited to watch the process and receive the colorful and fuzzy webs of sugar as they form their hollow shape. Everyone was jumping of joy and being so high on sugar.
Thank you for your continuous support to the refugees and the SURF mission.
Youssef landed in Greece, a handful of days ago, and immediately met with Kastro. He is assisting him with providing shelter and education for displaced people affected by the refugee crisis, and using SURF dollars to financially support Kastro’s latest project, “Occupation building”.
“Occupation building” is the latest squat project directed by Kastro. After a racist group burned down one of the refugees’ dwelling units, he found another abandoned building, and moved the displaced refugees to a six story high business building just a few miles from the center of Athens. The abandonment was the result of the 2008 financial crisis. Youssef flew to Greece to provide Kastro with support: financially, physically and emotionally. The building is not outfitted with enough basic amenities. The former offices are being converted to sleeping rooms, the open floors are being partitioned into smaller rooms, and they are installing a kitchen, bathrooms, and showers.
With your generous donations, SURF was able to buy water heaters and other building material so the people can have a humane living space. All labor/work is fulfilled by the refugee people. SURF is proud to be a part of a beautiful collaboration with this hard working community.
There are thousands of refugees stuck in Greece waiting for their asylum’s paper work to be processed. This process currently takes 6 to 18 months. There are more people coming every day, creating more demand to provide a humane environment.
Please continue your support of the SURF mission. You are all making a huge difference in people’s lives, and their struggle is less painful because of you.
Please visit our donation page to find out how you can support our latest project with Kastro.
Youssef arrived in Greece a few days ago. His mission is to distribute SURF DONATIONS, and work with Kastro on a new project in Athens.
After missing my connecting flight due to bad weather, I was stranded in Salt Lake City for almost a day, which made my long trip to Athens even longer. I finally arrived to Athens early in the morning, two days after leaving the Bay Area. After a quick shower, I headed to the first of the six refugees squats I am planning to visit during my visit to Athens.
This is an abandoned school that was converted into a refugee shelter by Kastro, a Syrian/Greek artist and activist whom I will dedicate an entire post to share his long and noble work with the refugee crisis.
The school is hosting over 400 refugees including over 180 children. Vulnerable refugees (pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, elderly and people with medical needs) are hosted in private community/local places. The school’s classrooms were transformed to shelters, and each room is shared by several families. The sewage system was cleaned up, bathrooms and showers were installed and a community kitchen was established providing two hot meals to the refugees on a daily basis. Also, a clothing and supplies warehouse was established to supply the daily needs of clothing, cleaning supplies, snacks, bread, etc. to the refugees. The school also has a laundry room and a small clinic room with access to a local volunteer nurse 24/7. Other volunteered nurses and doctors visit the school twice a week. Kastro started a new project to install a green house on the roof as well as a chicken coup to provide fresh eggs and vegetables to the refugees on a daily basis.
Foods, clothing, medicine, and other supplies are funded through local community members and private donors. There is no support of any kinds from the Greek government or any NGOs. Therefore, foods and supplies are not always available to the refugees.
Kastro established 5 other squats hosting and surging hundreds of refugees. These squats have similar structures and setup. They are all managed by their own residents, the refugees. However, due to the lack of funding, not all squats have kitchens, clinic, or a food warehouse. These squats are in constant need of daily supplies of bread and other foods items. Your generous donations will support hundreds of refugees and provide them with bread, milk, rice and other foods and supplies for the days to come. Please visit our donation page to find out how you can help.