Author: All4Aid

First Week of Full Reopening!

When All4Aid was founded, we chose to use the word “All” in our name to highlight the ideal of everyone playing a part in responding to the needs of displaced people: friends and supporters at home (through their giving, encouragement and prayers), as well as All4Aid staff, short-term volunteers and the displaced people themselves (through their work on the ground).

Following a great first week of reopening the All4Women Community Centre on Lesvos, Greece, we want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing people who have contributed to make this reopening possible and share some glimpses from the first week (respecting the privacy of the beneficiaries, as always!). It has been great to see our ideal of everyone working together being materialised through the smooth operations of the laundry, showers and hospitality area in our new centre.

As we look ahead into the future, we look forward to continuing to receive all the support we can get! Whether you would like to give financially, pray for our work, encourage our team, or even come and work with us on the ground — at All4Aid we believe we all can play a part in making our vision of seeing displaced people attain life in all its fullness become a reality!

A glimpse of the shower operations.

Children drawing while waiting for their moms.

Women and girls leaving our centre after taking showers.

Mother and children being welcomed at hospitality area.

Women making appointments for shower and laundry.

All4Aid staff member organising appointments.

Women leaving our centre.

Countdown for the Re-Opening!

The countdown has begun for the re-opening of our All4Women Centre on Lesvos! Though we have been able to continue our laundry services and to keep the sewing workshop going, we have been waiting for the construction of our new showers to be completed before fully re-opening.

This week, as the Greek construction workers gave the finishing touches in the building, we began training a new group of Community Volunteers in all areas of the Centre, including doing several trial runs on the showers and laundry and explaining our COVID-19 precautions.

Since yesterday we have also been welcoming women and girls wanting to make appointments to use our female-only laundry and shower services next week.

We are very excited and looking forward to fully re-opening the Centre on the 24th of May!

Training on laundry operations.

Women and girls making appointments.

New showers at the All4Women Community Centre.

Construction workers installing new flooring.

Welcoming our Community Volunteers Back!

At All4Aid, we follow a principle of working WITH displaced people, not just FOR them. So, it was our privilege to welcome back some of our community volunteers last week. These are residents of the Mavrovouni Camp on Lesvos who serve with us as translators, assistant teachers, shower operators, laundry operators, seamstresses, and various other roles.
It was really great to be able to spend some time with them, show them our new centre, and talk about the ways we will work together in this new space going forward. Among the community volunteers that we welcomed back were some of our very talented seamstresses who have now resumed working on sewing masks for the Mavrovouni camp residents.
We are very grateful for all that we can do together, while still following all sanitary precautions and COVID-19 related restrictions!

New Centre Construction Update!

Things continue to move forward with the construction of the new All4Aid centre on Lesvos! This week our Greek construction team set up the walls for the shower stalls and poured the cement. They also began to put up drywall to begin to create the shape of our hospitality area: the heart of our women-only area.
Construction work will be completed by the second week of May, at which point our centre will be fully equipped to offer women and girls up to 15.840 kg of laundry and up to 3.872 showers per month. We are looking forward to this new season of All4Aid on Lesvos and continue to be fully committed to serving and working with the people of the Mavrovouni Camp on Lesvos.
If you would like to partner with us in this commitment by contributing towards the construction costs, please click on this link to learn about ways to give. Your generosity and support is really appreciated!

Our Move is Complete!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the All4Aid Centre on Lesvos! Our team has been working very hard organising, cleaning and carrying boxes, but the move from Moria to our new space closer to the Mavrovouni Camp is finally complete.

The local Greek team of construction workers was able to make quick work of getting our laundry room up and running in our new centre with very minimal interruptions to the laundry services. The walls of our new offices, workshop rooms and children’s classrooms all got a fresh coat of paint!

We remain partially open for the next couple of weeks while construction is finalised for the installation of the shower room, the women’s hospitality area and “the shop”, so that in the near future women and girls are able to shower, fellowship, and choose free clothing and personal hygiene items with dignity.

Remembering Herbert

Today marks one year since the passing of our dear friend and team member, Herbert Keller. Although we can measure the time, we cannot measure the loss.

There have been many times over this past year when we remembered how Herbert constantly inspired us with the way he lived his life and his seemingly endless capacity to love others. He is and will continue to be deeply missed.

International Women’s Day

Today, as we honour the women in our lives for International Women’s Day, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on all of the women in the world who are displaced. Of the roughly 80 million people displaced, the UNHCR estimates that half are female.

These women and girls are constantly faced with challenges and with difficult choices in order to pursue better futures for themselves and their families.

To all displaced women today, we want to express our admiration for who you are and all that you do. It has been All4Aid’s greatest honour to work alongside you in our programmes. You are nothing short of courageous!

We Have A New Centre!

We have a new centre on Lesvos! Last week we signed the lease on a new property within walking distance from the Mavrovouni Camp – the new space where Moria Camp residents were moved to after the fires on Lesvos.
With a total built-up area of 640 square meters and an outside space of nearly 2.000 square meters, our new property is more than double the size of our current centre. That will allow us to continue and expand the various programmes we offer for women, as well as resume and expand the activities of our children’s learning centre (as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted).
During the month of March we will slowly transition to the new property while still keeping the Moria Centre open. Because of this, the laundry programme we are providing for the camp residents will continue uninterrupted.
We are really excited about the move and are looking forward to what is to come at our new location.

 

 

Re-Starting Laundry

This week the organisation Stand By Me Lesvos has been dropping off and picking up loads of laundry for the residents inside the Mavrovouni Camp on Lesvos. Our long-term team members are here working and facilitating the project. As the strict lockdown continues in Greece we are grateful to be able to help in any way we can and are looking forward to being able to re-open our other projects in the near future.

 

 

Paperwork Support

One of All4Aid’s first initiatives was to provide paperwork support to people seeking asylum in Frankfurt, Germany. We were a small team of volunteers, plus one part-time employee from the Middle East, who assisted those who needed help preparing CV’s, searching for accommodation, filling out job applications and organising translation for medical and legal appointments.

One man we assisted was the director of an NGO in a country where there is little religious freedom. He fled to Germany fearing for his life after the police broke into his office and confiscated his computer and other documents because he was a Christian. Through the financial support of Junta de Missões Mundiais, one of our long-standing partners, we were able to assist this man in Germany and even cover the legal fees for his asylum case.

We just recently heard, that after almost 3 years, our friend has obtained permanent residency! We really valued being able to offer these services in Frankfurt and still love hearing how these small acts of kindness and support have helped people in the long-term.