The ongoing human tragedy across the Mediterranean and Europe still shocks and moves the public at large. Millions of people from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Eritrea, Congo, Sudan etc, have been forced from their homes by conflicts, violence, persecution, hunger. Millions of women, men and children, who have left their conflict torn countries in search of safety, are now exposed to horryfying living conditions in Greece and other countries along the way of the so-called Balkan route.
It is only a minority of EU member states that have welcomed refugees. The majority have unfortunately turned their back on their international obligations. Most European politicians have retreated from their humanitarian obligations but its citizens have demonstrated Europe’s tradition of compassion, solidarity and commitment to justice and human rights.
While we are all still waiting for our governments across Europe to take a firm action and commit to help refugees, charities, NGOs, solidarity groups and people across the continent, have been organising in different ways of action to put pressure on our political leaders to finally act, as well as to find more practical ways to help ease the crisis.
There are many well-established charity organizations, well-known NGOs and civilians’ initiatives that have created a large solidarity network all accross Europe, helping the thousands who make the arduous journey from war-torn regions, and are now trapped in Greece, living lives in limbo,
Meeting refugees’ day-to-day needs is vital, but aid workers and charity groups are also trying to focus on refugees’ human and legal rights, as well as to find ways to solve problems that will help families and individuals over the longer term.
Since 2016, Three Peas is a part of this solidarity network of NGOs and aid groups working and supporting refugees in Greece. Our team was found to show solidarity with refugees and the Greek people, and to work closely with other actors on the ground providing help wherever and whenever needed.
Our philosophy is that by seeking, connecting and collaborating with other organisations, teams or companies that share our values and have a common aim with us, we can succesfully deliver our vision and mission.
This approach is of particular importance to smaller charities, like Three Peas, looking for ways to create a sustainable long term future. With collaboration we can share and cut costs, improve the outcome of our work and find new alliances that can also prove efficient and interesting in other contexts.
All through the years, one of Three Peas’ main concern and goal has been to get refugees out of camps and into local communities, and support them until they are able to make a living of their own. Therefore we have partnered with several actors and our aid actions have covered a wide-range of general themes and areas of intervention. In partnership with schwizerchrüz.ch in the past and recently with Attika Human Support, we have run local guesthouses and apartments where refugees could find safety and start a new daily routine (do their shopping, cook their meals, enjoy local cultural activities, meet the locals and develop friendly relationships with them). In collaboration with aid groups on the ground (One Happy Family, Baoabab) we have been distributing proper, nutrient-rich meals to hundrends of people daily on Samos and Lesvos. On more than one occasion we had to take quick action and offered immediate material or finnancial help to NGOs on the ground in emergencies (Refugee 4 Refugees on Lesvos and Samos, CESRT on Chios etc). We have jointly with other NGOs (among others IsraAid, Be A Robin) run community centres, supported programmes and provided projects for migrants and refugees, which were aiming at encouraging the social integration of these groups (through language courses, job skills and training sessions). We have worked with aid groups and specialists who provide social, legal, medical and psychological support to families and individuals.
Since December 2017, we have sent five large trucks filled to the brim with humanitarian supplies (clothes, shoes, hygiene products, medical aid items, baby milk, nappies, strollers etc) to the Greek islands. Each of these loads of material donations has been shiped to our partner on Lesvos, Attika Human Support, who runs the biggest warehouse for donated goods for asylum seekers, and plays a vital role in the distribution of humanitarian aid on Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and other small islands in the Aegean Sea.
Most of these truckloads have been succesfully organized and accomplished not only because of the financial support and the countless volunteer assistance we have received year-round, but also thanks to our collaboration with other aid groups and the support of generous sponsors, who constantly have filled our trucks with valuable donations.
One of the greatest challenges for aid groups is to negotiate the various barriers to effectively transport and deliver humanitarian aid where is needed. Thanks to the greatest possible coordination and cooperation with the European transport company LKW WALTER, all of our five truckloads sent to Greece have been always succesfully delivered. LKW WALTER has a long tradition of showing a joint responsibility and it is a well-known transport organisation for providing on-going assistance to humanitarian relief projects accross Europe.
For our fifth and latest truckload, sent to Lesvos in June, we joined forces with the German charitable organisation, Hamburger Hilfskonvoi and with one of our most valuable supporters, the Britax Römer company. The truck was filled with ten pallets of essential goods from the Hamburger Hilfskonvoi, another ten pallets collected and packed by Three Peas , which included loads of very demanded bicycles, and thirteen pallets with three hundrend brand new strollers and one hundrend travel bags donated by Britax Römer.
Britax Römer has been a constant and strong supporter of Three Peas for a long time. Last autumn the company donated five hundred of much needed strollers, which we were able to distribute to all refugee families with babies living in Lesvos.
As always we wish and hope that with our latest truckload of donations, we will be doing something to help our fellow human beings, fleeing their homelands in search of safety from war, extreme poverty and government oppression.
Our team, the Three Peas, is tremendously forever grateful to all those individuals, teams and companies, who are supporting us, sponsoring us and working with us, so that we can successfully complete our mission, and offer the much needed aid to thousands of people stranded in Greece.
Together we are stronger!