Update: After the Fire

Without regular access to clean water, health and hygiene services, and Coronavirus spreading with the camp, Moria was hell. In early September, fires consumed the entire camp, leaving approximately 13,000 people who already had so little without shelter and access to basic services. 

We at Stand By Me Lesvos and our very capable partners on the ground have been working hard since the fire. We thank you for all of your support during this time. We have been able to revive some of our old projects in the new camp and have begun new projects within the local community of Lesvos. 

Read More about the Fires in Moria »

Our partners don't only want to be seen as poor victims. They don't want pity and charity but dignity and to be treated like human beings.
Keeping Lesvos clean and refugee self-empowerment are high priorities for Stand By Me Lesvos. We are very happy to support our partner Moria White Helmets and the municipalities these initiatives. 

"Every Friday we help the municipality to clean. Today again our team is in Moria village and the areas between there and the old camp. This is our job and we are ready to help." - Moria White Helmets 
Support Us
We started a new initiative to support cleanliness in Lesvos and recycling in the camp. While our colleagues from MCAT collect clean empty bottles and their recycling points the Moria White Helmets will take care of the ones too dirty for that. We are going to collect them and other plastic rubbish and send them daily to the recycling plant. This helps to keep the camp clean and protect the environment, especially the sea. - Moria White Helmets

Recycling Project

Every day Moria Corona Awareness Team (MCAT) collects between 10.000 and 15.000 empty bottles from camp residents. For every ten bottles, one receives a ticket and can exchange it for new cold water, milk, or juice. This helps to keep the camp clean, strengthen recycling in Lesvos, and raises awareness. 

As there is no access to potable water at the new camp, it is critical that this project continues. 

The existing recycling points are also used to raise awareness about the dangers of Corona and how to protect oneself. We are glad this project became a part of camp life and while so many things in the new camp are (yet) not working at all, this program does!

The costs associated with waste removal and water distribution is running at around 8,200€ per month. 

Support MCAT's Recycling Project »


Leros, Samos, and Diavta

We continue to support our partners in the Leros Refugee Youth Group. They have managed with our help to distribute urgently needed supplies to families in the camp. What they are doing is another example to show how refugee self-organization works. Some of them are now accepted asylum seekers and could leave the island. But they decided to stay and continue offering their help and skills.

We very much believe in this form of empowerment and think it's a very stronger way of giving assistance and work together on the same eye level. We are now co-operating with three self-organization groups in Lesvos, each one in Leros and Samos, and were asked to help new groups on the mainland.

We are also supporting Diavta, where we sent a shipment with urgently needed material like tents and sleeping bags. We received a very urgent call for help from people in this camp.

After the new camp was established, heavy rains caused flooding in the area, making already uncomfortable living arrangements, uninhabitable. Thankfully, our partners Moria White Helmets have been helping the local municipality to install drainage systems to prevent flooding in the future. 

Upcoming Project: e-Academia

Our primary focus is education, education, education! We have been working on innovative ways to continue to provide access to education for all age groups.

We are currently developing a new e-learning platform. Students will be able to enroll in classes and download learning materials to their smartphones and keep track of their progress. This platform will also enable us to connect volunteer teachers from abroad with students in Lesvos through video classes. We hope this platform is a way forward to expand our teaching capabilities despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Moria Academia at the new camp

We had a well-established system of education in Moria. After the fire, we have had to build this again. We have been working hard with our partners at Moria Academia to develop opportunities to promote learning at the new camp.

Moria Academia is a network of independent, self-organized classes lead by residents within the camp. We are glad to continue to assist with the supplies and give logistical assistance. 


Food Distribution

Our partners on the ground work tirelessly to make the best out of a bad situation. We do our best to provide them with food and other necessities for their families. We are also still providing food to the vulnerable communities of Kalloni in Lesvos. 

Moria Pet Project

In September, we began the Moria Pet Project to help the animals who once called Moria home. Thank you for all the offers of support to adopt kittens and puppies. We have a contract with a local veterinarian now who regularly takes care of the injured animals. And we have a local whole sale who will supply us with food for a good price. 

We are happy to support the communities of Lesvos in the fight against Coronavirus. We delivered disinfectants, soap, and other materials to the local hospital in Agiassos in the center of Lesvos island. This was made possible thanks to the generous support of different German organisations.
Want to Help?

We have been inundated with requests for volunteers who want to come to the island to help since the fire. We greatly appreciate the offers and know it comes from a good place. However, we at Stand By Me Lesvos promote refugee self-empowerment. We believe there is no need for people to come to Greece to hand out water or clean the camp as the people who are already here are willing and able to work. 

Not coming to Lesvos is actually helping to keep the communities of Lesvos safe. With COVID spreading we want to consistently send this message! Our partners Moria White Helmets, Moria Corona Awareness Team, and Moria Academia are perfectly capable and have shown their willingness to make the best of a bad situation at camp and we continue to support them. 

Ways You Can Help: 
  1. Donate » to Stand By Me Lesvos so we can continue to support these projects.
  2. Raise Awareness by sharing our projects on Facebook »  or Twitter ».
  3. Speak with or write to government officials about the rights of refugees. 
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