Writing about this crisis, there’s often a tendency towards superlatives. But for some groups responding to it, these are entirely deserved. The Timber Project are one such group. Across Greece, the hard work, good humour and skill of this Scottish-born team are legendary.
Since beginning their work in July 2016, they’ve worked in over 15 different camps and sites across Greece. They’ve provided full-time employment to five refugees, and completed over 30 incredible projects that have made real improvements to people’s lives, building schools, medical centres, clothing distribution points, markets, cafes and libraries (and much more).
The story of the European crisis is also the story of ordinary people stepping up and doing extraordinary things. People working flat-out to fill huge gaps in services, often running on little more than ingenuity, pluck and a real desire to help those in need.
We believe The Timber Project demonstrate the best of this grassroots response. We’re incredibly proud to have supported them, every step of the way. Now, after six months of hard work on Lesvos and over two years volunteering in Greece, their team are heading back to Scotland for some very well-deserved rest and recovery.
The team finished their time in Greece laying some much-needed flooring in Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesvos, whilst simultaneously helping with the construction of seven cabins in Lesvos Solidarity – Pikpa camp, built to house some of the most vulnerable people still arriving on boats to the island.
In typically modest style, the team state that “the situation is complex but what we do is simple”. We’re not so sure. Across Greece, the infrastructure they’re built has allowed people to access healthcare and informal education. It’s enabled the provision of food and clothes. And it’s allowed people space to socialise, and for children to play. No mean feat.
Writing about the people they’ve met along the way, the team state:
“we have been touched by the kindness and bravery of everyone we have met and we hope that they can find some peace and happiness in their new homes.”
We can’t thank The Timber Project enough for their work. For the last two years, we’ve been inspired by their tireless work and commitment to refugees across Greece. We hope they’ll be back soon, but in the meantime, wish them a restful break back in Scotland.