DECEMBER 2022 Monthly Report

In December 2022, we at Wave served 1,678 hot meals, welcomed 130 new arrivals, distributed 1077 clothing and 609 hygiene items, ran 176 showers, charged 374 phones and power banks, and washed 195 loads of laundry.

Much like the rest of Europe, the effects of climate change were visible here in Thessaloniki, as December was an unusually warm month. Although December is typically quiet, we had many newcomers to our centre. We would like to give a special shout-out to the parents of one of our volunteers who travelled to Thessaloniki with sleeping bags for us!

Football 4 All
This month was the final Football 4 All tournament of the year, where teenagers and young adults from different organisations in Thessaloniki and volunteers from several NGOs participate. As usual, it takes place on the first Saturday of each month, and we catered for the day, providing chicken and vegetarian wraps, juice and bottled water. A big thank you to the United Society of Balkans for organising the games, which we always look forward to!

For Refugees emergency funding
A consistent concern for us at Wave is whether we are able to provide each newcomer with a sleeping bag – an essential item for undocumented people who have no access to housing. A huge thank you is in order to For Refugees for stepping in and sending emergency funding for sleeping bags and shoes when our supply was dwindling rapidly.

Christmas Fundraiser and holiday celebration
In preparation for the festive period, we launched our Christmas fundraiser campaign with the aim to raise €3000 for operational costs. Since moving indoors in July, our electricity and water consumption has increased significantly meaning more expensive bills. Alongside the fundraiser, we posted recipes for some of our most popular dishes at the centre. Thanks to the generosity of so many, we passed our target! This enabled us to pay off a large proportion of our bills and with the leftover money, we hosted a party and bought items we usually can’t afford, such as meat and cheese. Although we are aware not everyone celebrates Christmas, we wanted to commemorate the holiday and cook special meals with our community members, like lamb kabsa and traditional Algerian and Moroccan sweet dishes. We decorated the centre and the mood was fun and festive!

2022 Recap
Although 2022 was a challenging year, it brought some positive changes. The biggest of which was the return to our original indoor community centre model after two and a half years of outdoor distribution! Moving back indoors has enabled us to expand our services and provide a safe and warm environment for those who need it.

In 2022, we served 22,509 hot meals, welcomed 903 new arrivals, distributed 22,655 clothing and hygiene items and 727 sleeping bags, ran 1631 showers and washed 879 laundry loads. Additionally, we supported well over 160 people detained in Pre-Removal Detention Centres with basic clothing, hygiene items, coffee and chocolate.

As we reflect on the year, we would like to thank so many individuals and organisations for their commitment to our project. Without the support of so many, this would not have been possible and we at Wave would like to thank you all! In 2023, we look forward to building more mutual aid networks and continuing to provide a safe space for those who visit our centre.