Lesvos is one of the Greek islands located east of Europe that has a long history of hosting refugees due to its proximity to Turkey and the European border.
Currently (November 2017) more than 1,000 refugees are arriving each month and, although the media no longer speak about it, the problem is not solved.
In Lesvos there are many NGOs that are dedicated to the cause of refugees and immigrants. Some of these are LIGHTHOUSE RELIEF, REFUGEE RESCUE, PROACTIVA OPEN ARMS, REFUGEE 4 REFUGEES, WAHA, ACNUR, EURO RELIEF, UNITED RESCUE AID.
In June 2017, Albert, the president of Smiles on the Way, volunteered with Lighthouse Relief, a small NGO working north of the island, in the fishing village called Skala Sykamineas, where he was able to experience first-hand the situation there.
His main tasks during volunteering consisted of:
- Surveillance of the coasts to locate the boats as far in advance as possible in order to notify the response teams and competent authorities.
- Assistance in the landings, first aid, supply food, water and reassure the refugees who arrived to then be transferred to the main refugee camp of the island, Moria.
- Maintenance tasks of the camps to have them ready and well supplied with clothes and food 24 hours a day.
- Cleaning of boat debris, life jackets, personal belongings and waste from previous landings.
During the month of volunteering he was able to live the daily life of a first response emergency team and he returned very impacted by the situation while being impressed by the work done by all the volunteers.
Due to the good experience working with Lighthouse Relief we decided to focus on helping them with donations of clothing and other specific needs. We have established frequent and direct contact with them to be informed of all the needs at all times and thus be able to respond appropriately to the needs.
Smiles on the Way has a warehouse in Sant Pere de Ribes (Barcelona), where we are dedicated to classify, inventory and prepare the shipments that we subsequently send through the DHL transport agency by air transport .
If you want to know our current needs and know how you can help us, you can do so by following this link.