Dear friends, dear supporters, dear partners,
Herewith our last newsletter of the year!
We didn’t send many out in 2020… Our usual events, the disco, the art auctions, the dinners…could not take place. This isn’t to say we haven’t been active!
Three Peas were in Greece in January 2020, just before the pandemic. It made for a sad, sobering trip: what we saw was even worse than on our previous visit: Moria then housing around 20 000 people (it was built to house 3000), the tension between locals and refugees escalating, hope slipping away from the eyes of the most relentless, determined, caring local NGOs workers.
The New Moria And this year hasn’t helped. The New Moria, even worse than the old camp, is just an ex-military piece of land suspected of potentially exposing residents to lead poisoning and unexploded ammunition, humid by its proximity to the sea, without drainage or proper infrastructure.
The conditions in camps throughout Greece are so dire that the Greek government as just passed a law binding NGO workers and volunteers to not share information they gather while working. Basically, no posting, no photo sharing, no accounting… (more on the ECRE -European Council on Refugees and Exiles- website)
Photo credit: Alea Horst September 2020
New Partner – Just Action – on SamosIn Samos, we met with the about-to-be-born Just Action, a NGO helping both the refugee and the local communities, aiming to develop mutual understanding and respect through cooperation and joint work projects for local farmers and shops. An NGO we are proud to support. We went on to Lesbos, meeting with our different partners and those running the housing programme we sponsor. So many great souls!
Photo credit: Just action 2020 Samos
Food – medical supplies – legal costs
Throughout the year on both islands, and in Thessaloniki we also supported different emergency programmes focusing on medical supply and care and food distributions, especially after the fire which burned down Moria camp on Lesbos and the earthquake on Samos. We also sponsored the legal cost of family-reunion cases for some minors.
In Athens, we were happy to witness how the HIWA sport centre we support serves a large community of refugees. We were sad that founder Dana had to leave but the centre that he created with such passion for sport and generosity for fellow humans will live on, with a new managing NGO since September.
Photo Credit: Yoga for All Athens 2020
Community Center Sindos
And of course, we still support the community centre in Sindos, one of our longest running project.
Emergency Aid / Investments 2020
We have also sourced goods. When you read this letter, two truck-full of prams and buggies will have reached Lesbos through a stormy crossing. These were generously gifted by Britax. Three Peas paid for the transport.
This is a lot of work and cost an awful amount of money. We have a monthly expenditure in excess of £5,000, and during this (very tough) year, we spent approximately £50,000 on emergency response.
Photo credit: Home for All
We give our time because we cannot shut our eyes, we cannot forget what we have seen, the people we met: the families without safety, the youths without future, the elderly without home, the sick and ill without care.
But we could not do it alone…and though this year has been hard, we are very grateful to many.
Thank you to our private donors: Whether you gave a penny or a bucketful, you spurred us on this year. From children’s flower sales to donations in memory of loved ones, we are so touched to have become part of your lives. Without your trust and care, we could not be. Thank you!
Our work this year could not have happened without the book KIND. Thank you to all those involved in its making, author Alison Green, each of the 38 wonderful illustrators, and all those involved in its exceptional marketing in the UK and abroad, the publicity department, the foreign rights team and the amazing publisher at Scholastic… Of course, a book is nothing without a reader: to all of you who have bought, read, gifted KIND, we thank you from the bottom of our heart. Kind is a beautiful story, in more ways than one!
And of course, we thank our always supportive patron, Axel Scheffler, who spreads the word about Three Peas at the first occasion.
But here in the UK and in Europe, we have the easy work…
Three Peas is a bridge.
We would like to thank all our partners on the ground for doing a work that should be that of our states and governments and who nonetheless give their time, for the simple reason that they believe in helping their fellow humans. For their know-how, their determination, their compassion, their generosity, their anger and their love we would like to thank
Action for Education, Attika Human Support, Better Days, Hiwa, Home for All, IsraAid, Just Action, Medical Volunteers International, Project Armonia, Refugee 4 Refugees, Wave, Yoga and Sport for Refugees.
It has been a dreadful year for all, and even more so for those locked in the camps around the Mediterranean sea and beyond, who have been in lockdown for months and sometimes years, and who have no date or vague idea as when they will be allowed to live their life here on Earth. If you can help, join us, with financial support of course (!) but with your connections too. Maybe you know someone working for an hygiene product company? A dry food packing plant? A shoe making factory?
The world can sometimes feel like a big place. It isn’t.
The human tragedy -personal tragedies- taking place on the shores of Europe is too close to home to shut our eyes.
Let us embrace our responsibilities, and explore other possible futures for us all. We can think and we can act.
If you haven’t thought about your Seasons Greatings yet, there is still time – and
you can support us too.
Send our sparkly e-card, drawn by our patron Axel Scheffler, gifted by the fabulous Scholastik UK
Click on the link below:
With hope for 2021, Your Three Peas team