RefuGEN: Support for refugees from Syria in Greece

Feb 18, 16 RefuGEN: Support for refugees from Syria in Greece

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THURSDAY . SHARE EXPERIENCES

 

 

In November 2015 two Damanhurians, Barys and Macaco, participated in the Green Phoenix Conference, a meeting to deepen the sharing among Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) communities, held at the Schweibenalp ecovillage in Switzerland. During the meeting, the RefuGEN mission was born. Anna Fillipou from the Greek ecovillage Skala shared touching stories from Greece about the many boats landing on Lesvos and other Greek islands everyday. She talked about the conditions of the refugees and the volunteers.

This was a call to action, as ecovillages advocate a different lifestyle in harmony with people and nature, and over years of experimentation, we have developed tools and experiences that are useful in this direction. Three groups were created: one focusing on the immediate emergency, the second on imagining training programs like a specific Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course for refugees, and the third one worked on long-term solutions such as building ecovillages for refugees based on their needs and culture.

The first group planned to send volunteers to Lesvos, to create a rotating group of volunteers and to work with the organizations that are already active, and this is taking place. On December 23rd, the first RefuGEN volunteers arrived at Lesvos and rented a flat. RefuGEN3On December 24th, a letter from GEN Europe was posted on our blog to inform our friends about the mission.

Returning from the Green Phoenix to Damanhur, we debated what could be the most suitable action for Damanhur to support the RefuGEN mission, and we decided to collect clothes, blankets, shoes etc. to send to the refugees. All the coordinators of the different Damanhurian communities brought the news to their families. Many clothes, as well as some sleeping bags and blankets, were collected in Damjl to be sorted, packed and sent to Greece.

To be continued…

 

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