In September 2020 we shared the news of a devastating fire destroying Europe’s largest refugee camp Moria on the Island of Lesvos in Greece, leaving 13,000 people without shelter, including around 4,000 children.
With a maximum capacity of 2,500 the camp had become intolerable. Our incredible partners Dirty Girls of Lesvos who worked across the camp have been updating Love Welcomes with news on what has happened to the population.
Kara Tepe camp. Photo courtesy of 'Drop in the Ocean'
At least 7,000 refugees from Moria are now living in a temporary refugee camp dubbed ‘Moria 2.0’ on Lesvos. Housed on a former military base, refugees who have fled for their lives and then survived the devastating fire, are now faced with inhumane conditions including inadequate tents, flooding, unsanitary conditions, with no access to running water. The Greek Government confirmed in January dangerous levels of lead contamination in the administrative area of the camp.
The Government has also promised 5 modern camps ready by next winter. Currently 2,197 of the population are children with 137 babies. The crisis in Moria 2.0 is now.
Dirty Girls of Lesvos teamed up with A Drop in the Ocean to offer vital services to the desperate population. Their updates have been heartbreaking, reporting on the conditions as ‘even more dismal than the original Moria camp’.
According to Founder Alison Terry-Evans;
“There is very little running water. It just isn’t possible to wash clothes. Since October, we have teamed up with A Drop in the Ocean to wash the clothes, blankets and sleeping bags of the residents. In a treacherous winter this has offered health, hygiene and hope for the community who have lost everything.”
Love Welcomes is standing with our sisters; Dirty Girls of Lesvos and their critical response for refugees forced to live in Moria 2.0. Their work is offering desperately needed dignity and hope to the refugee population.
Children’s clothes washed with care. Our way of sending love into Moria 2.0 where neglect and abuse are the reality of every day. Photo Courtesy of our partner Dirty Girls of Lesvos.
Alison’s goal is to guarantee clean laundry for the Moria 2.0 population for six months and Love Welcomes has committed to covering the costs. In total this will ensure 20 tons of laundry, clean clothes, clean blankets, and clean baby supplies.
Photo courtesy of Drop in the Ocean
Love Welcomes response is made possible by the Love Welcomes X Banksy welcome mat which our supporters have bought. Made by and supporting refugee women, we are proud that these beautiful mats are also supporting refugees in Moria 2.0.
According to Love Welcomes, CEO, Abi Hewitt:
“No human should be forced to live in the inhumane conditions of Moria 2.0. Dirty Girls of Lesvos are fighting for dignity, action and hope for the residents and we give them the full support of the Love Welcomes community. We hope this support also sends a message to the community that you are not alone, and you are loved.”
In addition to health, hygiene and dignity, the program upholds the Dirty Girls model of reusing discarded materials. According to Alison:
“When there are no laundry facilities, dirty items are often trashed and replaced. Washing means that tons of material will not end up in landfill. There are health and environmental benefits, as well as the comfort and dignity that come with clean laundry.”
Main photo courtesy of Drop in the Ocean