In June 2022, we at Wave served 1,794 hot meals, welcomed 37 new arrivals, distributed 598 clothing and hygiene items, ran 118 showers, charged 58 phones and powerbanks, and washed 71 loads of laundry. This month, summer is well under way with temperatures already reaching the mid 30’s, luckily we got our shower container set up just in time thanks to generous support from Anthropia Network, Sea Punks, and all the individual and private donors who contributed to our GoFundMe or directly to our account. It has made such a huge difference to have the showers up and running on these hot days, and often when we go to start work there is already a queue of people waiting with towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a change of clothes ready to start their day after a proper shower. Providing people a space to clean and get ready for the day with dignity has been an incredible addition to the project!
At the end of June, Medical Volunteers International moved into their new clinic leaving us the space to expand our activities inside. June also saw the end of lockdown measures in Greece meaning that after more than two years we can move back indoors to our community centre model. We have already started arranging all the clothing items into a freeshop set-up in the old MVI clinic, repainting the whole centre, and plan to turn the storage room into an office and set up a canteen dining area, and even a barber shop, charging points and WiFi for our beneficiaries to use the space holistically and be empowered to fulfil their own needs. This change will see us save lots of money and waste on take-away equipment and also go back to the origins of the project pre-COVID – we couldn’t be more excited!
This month we also engaged in a number of extra activities as the Wave team – we had an access to asylum and border violence training organised by us and delivered to volunteers with different projects in the region, and a first aid training with volunteers from MVI that taught our team how to deal with wound-care, fainting, dehydration and much more! We also cooked again for this month’s Football4All, hosted by Amna and USB, making some delicious wraps and juices for those who took part. We have also started our gardening project on the rooftop of Filia where we have planted herbs and vegetables and plan to compost our veggie peels to reduce waste even more!
Unfortunately, the situation in Greece continues to decline for people-on-the-move. At the end of June two investigations by Lighthouse Reports (in collaboration with international media outlets Le Monde, the Guardian and der Spiegel) and BVMN revealed even more evidence of brutal pushbacks in the Evros region, and the erosion of the rule of law in Greece. This, alongside ongoing broom operations, has seen our population decline as access to safe procedures and services is almost out of the question for many. We are doing our best to provide holistic support to everybody who reaches out or comes to our space, and we can’t thank all of our donors and supporters enough for enabling us to do so at a time when it is more important than ever to show solidarity.