Information crisis in Greece

For: All refugees in Greece
Greece
Organizer: Sharon Silvey
€2,972
of €30,000 goal.
Raised by 34 donors
9% Complete
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The Story

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There are more than 60,000 refugees in Greece and an overwhelming demand for information to understand what is happening to them.

As an organisation who has been working with information for refugees for the past year, we are very aware that asylum seekers in Greece are struggling to understand the processes, which can easily result in them being deported after receiving a negative decision.

Unaccompanied minors in particular are responsible for their own asylum applications and struggle to understand what they need to do access their rights. Refugees are also struggling to integrate into a destabilised and bureaucratic Greek economy and society. Survival becomes paramount.

Greek public bodies are unable to move fast enough to provide information and amenities to asylum seekers and we work with them to fill this information gap. The information that they do provide is complicated, long and often not translated into languages the refugees understand. It is almost impossible to find answers to essential information that is relevant to a refugee in any given circumstance.

Why do Refugees need RefuComm?

There are 60,910 persons of concern in Greece.

37% of these are children.

21% of these are women.

42% of these are men.

The Greek economic crisis goes on like an “Odyssey with no end.”

The last year for Greece has been tumultuous, punctuated by two elections, a referendum, negotiations to reach a bail out deal, and Athens’ closest brush yet with bankruptcy and euro exit.

In addition, Greece is expected to accommodate refugees that Europe does not want and they are not coping well. Conditions for refugees are poor to say the least.

Greece can barely cope with providing basic human rights for refugees. Information provision is definitely at the back of the queue.

RefuComm and a few other small but agile information providers are currently, the ‘official’ and recognised providers of information to refugees. We attend regular meetings with the Greek Asylum Service and NGOs and are expected to provide information for 60,000 refugees. We have recently been asked to write up new processes by GAS and provide training for volunteers so that they can help refugees to access accurate information. 

The team at RefuComm have made it their business to find creative ways of providing accurate information to refugees in their own language and in a timely manner.

We have moved swiftly to bring some excellent projects to fruition.

We are about to launch an online Robot that can give tailored information to any refugee with a phone.

We are increasing our library of translated information in audio format for those who can’t read.

We have plans to provide information on MP3 players to resolve the issue of limited wi-fi.

We are making even more translated information films to engage all the senses and engage people with the information. 

These are creative solutions to information provision. Solutions that do what they say on the tin.

To do all this, we need your help!

We need to pay for printing, travel to the camps.

We need to pay for our great animation which is about to be launched.

We need to pay the development and delivery of our chatbot.

We need to pay for thousands of MP3 players that will be going out to the camps.

YOU CAN CHOOSE

You can choose which project to donate to:

Mark your donations with the project number:

Project 1.     For general donations for printing, petrol and travel around the camps.

Project 2.     To donate towards the animation.

Project 3.     To donate towards our chatbot.

Project 4.     To donate towards the MP3 players

www.refucomm.org

https://www.facebook.com/refucomm/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=refucomm

https://twitter.com/LegendRefucomm





Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 3, 2016

Posted on October 3, 2016


RefuComm Roundup!

Thank you to EVERYONE who has contacted us to volunteer! We have been overwhelmed with your offers of support and it makes us very happy that you want to join us.

We now have a legal team assembled (more news on that next week), and administrators, researchers, writers, social media specialists, and other professionals are ready to help. We are excited that so many talented people have asked to join us. Several volunteers will be in Athens in October and going forward, and we will have an opportunity to meet with you. We are really looking forward to meeting you.

The team has zeroed in on three main projects that will be the focus of our work going forward. You can learn more about these—please donate—at https://www.youcaring.com/families-disabled-and-unaccompanied-minors-stuck-in-idomeni-569855

Here’s a progress report for each of these important pieces of work.  

Project 1. Provide information to refugees who are stuck in Greece.

Our objectives for this project are to cover expenses for researchers, writers, translators, and designers and to provide computers with keyboard covers in a range of languages for these purposes. We also print leaflets, flyers, t-shirts, and banners to get the word out about RefuComm’s information resources. We need to get this information out there in the best way we can.

This week we worked on the following activities:

  • We printed 20,000 flyers with link to RefuComms’ website in four languages, and volunteers started to distribute them. If you are in a camp, please can you help us? We will be there at the end of the month but people need this information now! Contact us on our website at refucomm.org if you can distribute leaflets in any of the camps.
  • Printed and dropped 300-page lists of all registration appointments at some of the squats and we are continuing to do this.
  • We developed a plan and a training outline to deliver volunteer training on the registration and asylum, relocation, and family reunification processes, to be conducted via Skype in the short term. We are working with UNHCR to deliver the training in all of the camps throughout the mainland, beginning at the beginning of November.
  • We presented our information to Lavrio Camp and Oniro Squat, twice in Farsi and once in Arabic, thanks to our Cultural Mediators for helping us with this. We are about to make a presentation in the new men’s squat in Athens.
  • We helped to arrange transportation for Lavrio residents to their full registration appointments. This means they can now access the system and potentially beging to be reunited with their familes, relocated to another EU country or claim asylum in Greece. It also means they can access cash.
  • We continued to talk to GAS about registration problems and finding solutions for refugees when there are problems. We managed to get GAS to agree to bring some registration appointments forward for people who were in really difficult situations.
  • Worked with UNHCR and GAS to ensure that we have full and accurate information on the Syria “fast track” process. We are writing a script to be translated and made into a film and an audio file which will be available soon on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgxoiWtizRFBdJhInUeNllw
  • We talked to UNHCR about benefits, housing, travel, access to the labour market. We are producing guides to these topics for refugees who have asylum in Greece. Watch out for new information here refucomm.org and more importantly SHARE!
  • We are working on the website and finding solutions to making it more user friendly. We have lots of new information on there around living in Greece and we are also about to add information in Greek. We are working on French and Kurdish.
  • Arranged for blocks of time at The Cube in Athens this week for audio recordings for the animated film and some additional Urdu recordings.

Project 2. Preparing refugees for their very important asylum interviews.

We are producing an animated film and other resources in 8 languages. The film contains vital information about the interview process, how to prepare for it, and what to do if the asylum decision is negative. This week our work on the film continued, with these activities:

  • We developed a plan to train refugees to conduct the workshop on preparing for the asylum interview.
  • We translated the script of the animated film and approached refugees to perform the voice-over recordings.
  • Translated and checked five Greek documents to go on our website that aren’t available anywhere else.
  • We had Urdu translations checked in Pakistan by Action Aidi n the UK. We are desperate for good Urdu translators. Please help!

Project 3. Creating education opportunities and a safe haven for young single males.

You’ll be seeing more about this project in the future. We have engaged many young men in RefuComm’s work, as you can see with our video and audio creations. They are learning skills from us that they will be able to use to find employment. Two of our translators already have.

But these promising young men are often the last category of refugee to be considered as needing assistance of any kind. Many of them are receiving asylum in Greece. We want to ensure that they have access to educational opportunities so they can make a contribution in their new society. We have begun to partner with other organizations to help to make those opportunities available. Ideally, we would also create a safe haven where they can support each other in their studies and daily life.

Stay tuned as we pursue our goals for this project! Please donate, we can ony do this with your help.

Finally, in addition to work on these specific projects, RefuComm continues to provide basic aid and specific tools to assist refugees in Athens, including:

  • Trying to help unaccompanied minors get accommodation.
  • Delivering clothing and other aid to the squats.
  • Reaching out to people to engage in support for Pakistani refugees.
  • Looking to put a roof over the heads of people who are refused relocation and thus are being evicted from their NGO-provided accommodation. This is a growing problem as refugees come out of the relocation programme.
  • Distributing donated keyboards and mice, including ten Bluetooth keyboards we hope will work with phones, and alphabet stickers in four languages. We will give some of these to The Cube and Khora Community Center and retain some for use by RefuComm translators.

Once again, to support this work, please go to our https://www.youcaring.com/families-disabled-and-unaccompanied-minors-stuck-in-idomeni-569855 page and donate! We can’t do it without your help!

Finally thanks to Laurie for putting this round up together…..it makes me tired just reading it!

Well done RefuComm Team, You rock…

See who we are at www.refucomm.org

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