REFUGEE SOLIDARITY APPEAL
Last year alone 65 million people became refugees. A fraction of them tried to come to Europe, which after a few months, in March, closed all its internal borders. Since then the 'refugee crisis' has become less visible. The refugees are now stuck at the edge of the EU border. The Greek islands, and especially Lesvos and Chios, have become massive open-air concentration camps, full of desperate and frustrated people. See the recent articles by Amnesty International, Al Jazeera and the Nation below:
Since last summer a mass daily operation has been underway in the islands to offer humane living conditions to those seeking refuge on their shores. This operation relies heavily on international NGOs and visiting volunteers. But its backbone are the local communities, everyday people, 'unregistered' groups of sponatenous solidarity that cover all the needs that big, foreign organisations are incapable of cataring for. Like cooking some proper home-made food.
We are a group of UK-based friends that have been visiting Chios for many years as a holiday destination. We know the island and since last summer we know the local teachers, nurses, lawyers, and cooks that run the local refugee solidarity networks. We admire them and we trust them. They are not an NGO and hence they receive no money from abroad. They rely instead solely on local contributions. But their money is running out.
We are holding this event in order to collect money for the Chios local solidarity kitchen. Currently they are cooking 3-4 times a week, making 250-300 portions. Each portion costs approximately 0.8-1 euro. We will deliver the money to them in late August, when we visit again the island. We thank you. In solidarity.