GEN Takes Action regarding the Refugee Crisis on the Island of Lesvos“Together we aim to provide help on the ground in Greece and take responsibility for an issue that affects us all.”
Dear Ecovillage Communities of Europe,
The flow of refugees from war-torn areas continues and crossing into the EU is a dangerous risk many men, women and children feel forced to take to survive. The Greek Islands and especially the island of Lesbos is the main entry point where many arrive in need of help; others do not survive the crossing. As the colder winter comes, the situation will become even worse. As ecovillages we stand for social justice and a humane world where people should not be hindered to seek their legal right to asylum in the EU.
refuGEN is now ready to act. Our plan is to field a mission to the small city of Mytilini on the Greek island of Lesvos. We have already been there through our Team Member Anna of Skala and made connections with the local NGOs, municipality and university. Our mission will work seamlessly with local efforts and we aim to strengthen local capacities in Mytilini to utilise local residents and international volunteers to meet the needs of distressed refugees arriving, especially those who have lost family members, needed medical care and remain on Lesvos a longer period. We are working with the local community to arrange our accommodations and identify the greatest need for refuGEN to fill. The refuGEN mission will start its briefing in Greece 20-23 Dec and be on location in Lesvos no later than 24 Dec. Both Anna and I, Robert will be part the first group of refuGEN volunteers on location before Christmas.
We now need your help. We need volunteers, financial support and materials.
VOLUNTEERS: Persons capable of helping others in need, with at least a minimum of basic skills in English are welcome to apply to become a refuGEN volunteer by filling in the application form here:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MBJDVLQ
We need Arabic speakers and medical doctors and nurses as well as people with good community/inter-personal/trauma/practical skills. You must be willing to stay at least 7 days, but the longer the better. Unfortunately we cannot promise any financial assistance with travel and food/accommodation costs. We hope to be 5 persons at all times, with a team leader staying a longer period, a medic, an interpreter and two more volunteers.
DONATIONS: If you can, please contribute to the refuGEN fund. It is for paying common costs of the mission that we cannot ask individual volunteers to pay for. If we collect enough money we would like to help volunteers in financial need to help pay food, accommodation and possibly travel to the location. It is possible to donate via GEN Europe PayPal account or GEN Europe bank account. Please mark all donations with “refuGEN”.
Postbank Berlin, bank code 10010010, Account no: 7681105
IBAN: DE 11100100100007681105, BIC: PBNKDEFF
GEN-Europe e.V. is a charity association – Donations to us are tax deductible depending on your country!
MATERIALS: We ask you to consider gathering needed materials to give to needy refugees. Men’s clothes, sleeping bags, tents, and perhaps blankets will be needed. Sorting clothes by size and type is helpful. We want you to wait with sending any materials before refuGEN is on location and can confirm what is needed.
Please spread this request in your community and to trusted individuals connected to your community that you think could help with the refuGEN mission.
On behalf of the GEN Europe Council and the refuGEN team,
Global Ecovillage Network Conference 2016 – Connecting Communities for a Sustainable World, 02.-06. July 2016, Arterra Community, Artieda, , Navarra, Spain – Information and Registration