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.