Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis
After the first positive cases of Covid-19 were detected early in 2020 in the refugee camp where we work the whole camp was immediately put on lockdown. It remains on lockdown today.
Love Welcomes founder Abi Hewitt appealed to our community for support and the response has been overwhelming. Abi said: “We are well aware that many of you have been hit financially at this time but your support for the refugee women has been amazing. We cannot thank you enough”.
If you are able please donate today if you can.
Covid-19 puts a massive strain on everyone in the camp to deliver access to basic health, safety, security and a decent standard of living. Any donations received are being dispersed among the courageous organisations on the frontline in the camp trying to deliver the most basic of services.
Café Rits and Love Welcomes have provided a huge delivery of fresh food and household products distribution for the residents of the camp without cash.
Hundreds of kilos of halal chicken legs, 13,000 eggs (!), Greek yoghurt, sunflower oil, oranges, dish soap, sponges, canned tomatoes and many, many other vegetables were hand packed and delivered based on family size.
Thanks to the team at Tertipis Supermarket of Ekso Panagitsa for their on time deliveries and cheerful smiles whatever the weather...
Love Welcomes has recently worked with partners to provide shoes and other clothing supplies to the refugee community throughout the camp as we head in to winter and adverse weather.
Mother and Baby Packs Delivered
Our team in the camp have been able to provide vital packs to all mothers with babies and infants. The packs include nutritional support, baby food / formula and nappies.
Abi Hewitt of Love Welcomes said “The women we work with have been concerned about the health and wellbeing of new mothers in particular and wanted to make sure we could provide support for them and their babies. Thanks to donations from our supporters we have been able to provide this.”
During lockdown in the camp it has not been possible for people to visit shops regularly in order to access vital supplies needed for mothers and babies.
Nappies going in to the mother and baby packs
Fresh food and hygiene supplies delivered
We have been working with our partners on a new delivery of crucial supplies to go to every person in the camp. During lockdown it is very difficult for people to get hold of food and other urgent supplies, so our latest delivery includes fresh food and essential hygiene items, including sanitary towels.
Organising the delivery
On this particular delivery every pack contained the following:
- Fresh oranges and lemons
- Orange squeezers
- Mixed juice
- Hygiene items such as sanitary towels.
One of our deliveries arrived at the start of Ramadan which is celebrated by many people in the camp, so we have included cards to everyone sending them best wishes at Ramadan.
Covid-19 Protection Packs Delivered
When we entered the third week of full lockdown in the camp we have been able to work with our amazing partners to organise a vital Covid-19 protection pack for every person in the camp.
Preparing the packs for distribution
The Covid-19 packs we have shared so far contain 2 cotton face masks, 2 hand sanitizers, 2 personal soaps, detergent for washing masks, nutritional milk for children and youth, and education materials about the virus.
We received a WhatsApp message from one of the women we work with who wanted to thank everyone who has donated. She said: “We hope you are safe. Thank you so much for standing tall for all the refugees. We are so proud of you all and thankful to you all. We have received everything in the packs“.
Covid-19 Protection Packs
We are so proud of our heroic partners in the camp, especially Carolynn at Café Rits, IOM, Katina and the Love Welcomes women and the team at Lighthouse Relief. Everyone has worked around the clock to make this support a reality.
Covid-19 packs prepared for all adults in the camp
At the start of the lockdown when the number of confirmed cases rose to 30, Love Welcomes was working with partner organisations to source an essential Covid-19 pack to every adult in the camp. We aim for the package to contain:
2 cotton face masks
2 hand sanitizers
2 Personal soap
2 Laundry soaps for the masks
Education material about Covid-19
3340 bottles of hand sanitiser arrive at the refugee camp
The pack is being distributed with translated educational material about Covid-19 including guidance on hand-washing. This is a vital education drive as there are many rumours circling the camp in regards of what to do in the crisis.
Translated educational material included in the Covid-19 packs
Alongside the hygiene kits above we have also provided 1536 cartons of nutritional milk, as requested by the nutrition team in the camp.
As well as providing these packs we are urgently trying to source and supply baby and mother packs including formula, nappies and other products to support nursing mothers. This is crucial as people are unable to shop and buy the products they need.
Love Welcomes staff support urgent food packages and hygiene kits
We have diverted our staff to help with food distribution and we were delighted to hear that 2,000 food parcels were shared on Friday along with hygiene kits.
More than 2000 food packages are delivered. Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis
The women we work with are asking for more face masks and cleaning products for the camp and they are concerned about getting hold of products for babies and nursing mothers as they can’t now get out to shop. The officials running the camp are also concerned about the provision of fresh food.These are the top of our list of priorities for support with your donation.
Read Our Appeal for Help
Dear Love Welcomes supporter,
So far 30 people have tested positive for Coronavirus in the refugee camp where we work. This was the first refugee camp in Greece to be hit since the outbreak of the virus.
The whole camp has been put on lockdown and everyone is quarantined in their cramped isoboxes – the containers where they live.
In light of this news we have appealed to the Love Welcomes community to show its support. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support shown so far, thank you. But the need is great, so if you are able please donate today if you can.
Our main priority is the wellbeing of the refugees and we are doing everything we can to support them. As you know, the camp had already grown threefold since the start of the year so every organisation offering support is financially stretched to the max.
Coronavirus now puts a massive strain on everyone to deliver access to basic health, safety, security and a decent standard of living. Any donations received will be dispersed among the courageous organisations on the frontline in the camp trying to deliver the most basic of services.
Our relationship with you is very personal and this has been at the heart of Love Welcomes since the start. The women we work with take time and care to make all our products, we connect deeply and personally with each of them and support them on their difficult life journey.
We are well aware that many of you have been hit financially at this time, so we are only asking you to donate if you can.
If you would like to donate then we will ensure that it directly supports the refugees where we work. Click here to donate.
Abi, Co-Founder, Love Welcomes