Making a Difference in Athens

Guest blog from our partners Ale and Jess at FORGE for Humanity in Athens

We’ve been a bit quiet for the last few weeks so here’s a quick update of what we’ve been up to!

We try so hard to facilitate a community feeling from our little office space and, thanks to YOUR donations over the last few months (since January 11th), we have been able to:

- Receive 2750 visits from over 800 individuals originating from 32 countries and speaking 12 different languages!

- Provide a new WiFi line for the guys so they can surf the net and we can still get work done!
- Facilitate access to Skype for 225 people, which resulted in 71 being registered with the Greek Asylum Service
- Make 7 referrals which resulted in our participants being given housing
- Have 29 people participate in our employability program, where we provide a personalised service, helping people one-on-one with their CVs, cover letters and job searches.
- Provide a new WiFi line for the guys so they can surf the net and we can still get work done!
- Have daily distribution of clothes, in addition to frequent distribution of sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and hygiene items.
- Celebrate New Year, “Nowruz” with our Iranian, Afghan and Kurdish participants.
- Host daily football and cricket match viewings, find websites to practice typing skills, and Ale's even starting teaching Spanish to one of our participants!

As usual we have so many people to thank, which is one of the things that makes this work so enjoyable - working together as a community to help as many people as possible 💙💙

Amber B and all donors to Donate4Refugees for financing our office space
Anne B & Sarah J for coordinating some incredible clothes donations
Lisa C of Do Your Part for the new chairs and headphones for the laptops
Everyone who contributed to Ale’s Facebook Birthday Fundraiser (through Donate4Refugees) in February, which enabled us to make so many of the purchases mentioned above
Rando W of One Human Race for contributing 15% of his Facebook birthday fundraiser (through Donate4Refugees) which went towards our Nowruz celebration and will make food distribution in Ramadan and further Eid celebrations possible this year
Joel G and Donna B of Aegean Solidarity Network for our translator’s stipend
Negia M, Manu and Ines for the provision, sorting and delivery of our NFI (non food items) distribution
Noam H, and everyone at Mazi Housing Project for their partnership
Megan for her tireless work heading up our employability program
Solange for being our on-call French translator, as the number of French-speaking participants rises daily!
Nasir for his incomparable translation, cultural mediation and patience, without which nothing we do would be possible

We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Clare W (Jess’s mum) to our team officially. Clare, having done some brilliant fundraisers for us in the past, visited us back in February and has since taken on the role of Fundraising Coordinator. She has been working on our first newsletter, so watch this space, we’ll tell you how you can sign up to receive it soon!

Now we’re off to Leroy Merlin in pursuit of some shelving to continue on our quest for organization!! Wish us luck!!🍀🍀

Love from Athens 💙