In November of 2020, R4R received a request to support the winterisation of Eleonas Camp in Athens. Upon witnessing the conditions on the mainland, we began assessing the situation both in camps and the city centre.
We've since established the R4R Mainland Warehouse, operated by both visiting and community volunteers to distribute essential items in camps across the mainland and in support of other actors working tirelessly to provide urgently required humanitarian aid.
Established in November of 2020, our warehouse acts as both a storage space for non-food items and a workshop providing access to numerous woodworking tools and materials that will enable our volunteers to distribute items within camps and across the city.
Working in close collaboration with our teams on Lesvos and Samos, having a warehouse on the mainland enables the efficient transportation of items urgently needed for distributions taking place across Greece. As we are located in close proximity to Malakasa 2, we have begun conducting frequent mass-distributions focusing on both winter clothing and hygiene items.
Since we have begun operating on the mainland, one of our core focuses has been the provision of support to grassroots organisations in Athens, some of which serve up to 1,000 people per week with essential NFIs. If you would like to get in touch with our team on the mainland to support with NFIs, please visit the contact us page.
Our team of visiting and community volunteers supported the flooring of two areas in the camp, to ensure erected tents would be able to withstand any flooding due to heavy rains experienced throughout winter. In total, over 40 winter tents were set up in the camp to replace inadequate summer tents which also included tarping each tent and a distribution of blankets providing weather-proof shelter for over 200 people. To ensure the camp was equipped in the event of severe weather, a water pump was provided to the actors based in Eleonas camp and R4R conducted emergency response activities after significant snowfall in February of 2021.
2. PLAYGROUND REPAIRS
The playground in Eleonas camp was in poor condition when we began working in the camp. The play-set was severely rusted and hazardous, which led to our team repainting and rebuilding the swings and other parts of the playground to ensure it was a safe environment for children.
3. COMMUNITY KITCHEN SUPPORT
As winterisation efforts began in Eleonas camp, our partner organisation Project Elea informed us of plans to construct a community kitchen within the camp. With over 400 residents without access to appropriate kitchen facilities, there was no safe cooking space for many residents. R4R supported the installation of a container within the camp, and community volunteers with past experience in welding helped install fittings for windows, doors and kitchen appliances.