Monthly Report - December 2021

In the final month of 2022 WAVE served 2,155 hot meals, distributed 1,445 non-food-items, including welcome packs to 86 new arrivals. We provided 37 basic warm showers, and washed 20 loads of laundry.

This festive season we were low on volunteers, and worked for two weeks with a team of just five people when we are used to having ten plus on the ground! Nevertheless, we pulled together to continue operating at a normal level, as well as serve some special meals and have some Christmas fun! In December we made our own flatbread, deep fried cauliflower fritters, and even served a traditional meal of couscous and chicken to celebrate New Years Eve with our beneficiaries. As the markets were closing for Christmas, we were loaded up with plenty of veg that they couldn’t sell over the holidays, including an unprecedented amount of cauliflower that we had to get creative with!

This December, we paired up with NAOMI, IHA and Room 39 in order to provide people in detention centres with non-food-items also. These pre-removal detention centres are where many people from ‘safe countries of origin’ can be held for up to 18 months whilst they apply for asylum. We worked together with other organisations in Thessaloniki to make sure they are covered for winter clothing and hygiene items this Christmas – providing for more than 500 men across two detention sites.

We have also made some wider more exciting developments in the project this last month: finally installing a hot water boiler in our washing up station to improve our hygiene standards when cleaning; the arrival of a professional shower container from Sea Punks that will be installed in the coming weeks so we can finally offer proper showers; the installation of electricity and insulation in our kitchen cooking trailer by Grenzenlose Waerme so that we don’t have to clean up in the dark with torches any more once the sun has set; and finally the installation of a dryer machine so that we can speed up our laundry system and wash more loads in spite of the cold weather! We are excited about the steps forward we are taking and the upgrades this offers to us, streamlining our operations and improving the services for the people we serve.

A dedicated team of volunteers pursued an Advent fundraising campaign – posting stories every day with different fun facts, quizzes and pictures to count down the days until Christmas. As a result of these extensive efforts we passed our target, raising over 5,000EUR – enough to run the operations of the project for nearly two months! Thank you to you all for your generous donations and your ongoing support – Wave wishes you all the best for 2022!

Small yearly round up: in 2021 we served 34,500 hot meals, and welcomed 1,255 new arrivals with non-food-item packages to cover all their basic needs, and distributed 1,543 hygiene packs.