We have been supporting the wonderful Lighthouse Relief for many months now, initially with their medical and search & rescue work on Lesvos and now with their many vital projects in the camps on the Greek mainland.
Last week we were at Ritsona camp with them where we are supporting the creation and facilitation of a woman and child safe space which will comprise a safeguarded area of 3 tents where the children can be looked after in various age groups and further tents for women including a private safe space for breastfeeding mums. These spaces will be transformative for the residents and we can’t wait for them to be fully in
The camp, situated around an hour from Athens, is at maximum capacity with 900 residents, of which 400 are children, 40 still being breast/bottle fed and another 20 women are pregnant.
The population make up is roughly two thirds Syrian, with the remaining third made up of Kurds, Iraqis and Afghans.
However while Ritsona is one of the 30 new military camps with residential tents laid out in neat army lines, conditions aren’t great. There are plenty of chemical toilets but only 9 showers of which just three provide hot water – simply not inadequate for 900 people. There is no running water until 17th May so although tanks are filled up twice a day and each person is given 1.5 litres of drinking water, (in temperatures rising to 27 degrees this week) supplies have run out by 3pm each day.
We hope that the Women and Child friendly zone will provide a place of escapism and relaxation from the burning heat.
We can help you help refugee women and children – donate here: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/helprefugees
Nutrition chart for nursing mothers
Tents for children of different age groups
Tents in the women and child safe space
Volunteers and refugees in Ritsona
We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.
Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!