We are working with the Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece to support refugees
Following border closures in the Balkans, tens of thousands of refugees are now stranded in Greece with limited options, many with seriously inadequate support.
There is a critical shortage of suitable accommodation, and thousands are living in overcrowded centres and camps where they are vulnerable to smugglers and traffickers.
Working with the Diocese in Europe
The Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece, supported by USPG and the Diocese in Europe, is working on the frontline with refugees through a number of partners in Athens and on the Greek Islands.
(The Diocese in Europe asked USPG to be the official agency for Anglican churches in Britain and Ireland to channel donations for its work; and we can receive donations from any country.)
As well as providing emergency assistance to organisations that provide food, warm clothing and medical care, we are supporting programmes aimed at longer term support for refugees living in very difficult conditions in Greece.
At the moment, the Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece has committed to the following initiatives:
- In northern and central Greece and on the Island of Lesbos: we are supporting volunteer organisation Lighthouse Refugee Relief (LRR), founded to help refugees who arrive by boat from Turkey. Refugees have been arriving wet, tired, cold, and hungry, with many distraught or need medical attention. While the number of refugees arriving from Turkey has declined, LRR remains in situ to welcome the few that make it to shore. The LRR camp is relieving pressure from the over-crowded government hotspots, and the team is also working with the local community in an environmental clean-up operation to revitalise the tourism industry. LRR is also directing its efforts to northern Greece where tens of thousands of refugees are stranded in camps in terrible conditions. Here they are providing child- and female-friendly spaces, a mother and baby services focusing on breastfeeding support, and targeted food and goods distributions for vulnerable refugees
- On the Island of Samos, we are working with the Greek non-profit organisation MedIn (Medical Intervention) and reaching out to refugees who arrive with immediate needs for medical care. MedIn also provides psychosocial support for the vulnerable and traumatised.
- We are supporting Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Orthodox Church of Greece. In Athens, we are helping to provide winter clothes, prioritising children, the elderly and those with poor health. And on the islands of Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, we have provided tents, sleeping bags, food parcels and hygiene kits.
- In Athens, the church is working with the Salvation Army to provide clothes, milk and hygience items to refugees living in the city. We are also fully funding an Afghan interpreter who provides information to families about the safe options available to them so they can avoid the dangers posed by people smugglers.
Message from the Bishop in Europe:
Suffragan Bishop in Europe David Hamid said: ‘Your generous donations will be put to excellent use. I thank you most sincerely for your generosity, and for your Christian response to this crisis.'