Many tens of thousands of refugees who have fled from war torn countries are now stuck in Greece. They are being housed often in appalling conditions. At the moment there are over 60,000 desperate refugees residing in the country. In the camps, squats, in the major cities and in the countryside most of these refugees are unable to work due to restrictions placed upon them by the European Union (EU) and the Greek authorities.
Each and every single refugee young and old alike has an incredible story waiting to be told and shared with the rest of the world. Bored beyond belief with often no activities to while away the countless hours, days, weeks and months in the refugee camps the Refugee Art Project aims to give these refugees a platform, a voice to help restore their human dignity and feelings of self respect through the medium of art, music and poetry.
Long term independent refugee volunteer and activist and the founder of Europe Refugee Network established in February 2015. Fifty years old with a strong interest in social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. Former member of a UK think tank dealing with social exclusion issues.
Last winter I drove down to Greece from the United Kingdom over 2,000 miles away to help the refugees in the camps. I spent 4 months in the country volunteering. Now I want to do the same again, only this time with a much more specific purpose in mind, to help provide a voice, a platform for refugees who feel for the most part that nobody cares for them.
If you want to find out more about my volunteering, please visit Facebook and go to Europe Refugee Network or Refugee Art Project. (In this latter public group please read the pinned post at the top of the page to find out more about what this is all about).
Rent a large workshop or a small warehouse or community space and provide and run art based activities for the refugees. Drawing, painting, sculpture, carpentry, recycling / upcycling, poetry, music, needlework / tapestry and a range of other activities in the form of workshops. An outreach program will also visit refugee camps to bring the joy of creating art to many more residents inside the refugee camps.
The Refugee Art Project will not be just for the refugees but will be a resource anyone can use including the local Greek population. Anyone who wants to join in can. Art is about building bridges, helping us to relate to one another more. It is the perfect platform upon which to build more social cohesion and integration between people from different backgrounds and nationalities.
The need right now:
This project will in all likelihood be based in or near Athens the capital city of Greece. Launch date is the first week of February 2017. Your donations will help pay for the rent on the premises and for the art materials we need initially to help see this project grow and flourish. We are planning in driving down to Greece from the United Kingdom mid January 2017 to get the ball rolling on this exciting project.
All art created within the Refugee Art Project (if the artist wishes it) will be exhibited, marketed and sold through art galleries and exhibitions (locations will be released in due course as the project develops). The artist will receive at least 50% of the proceeds of any sale/s of their artwork or music. The rest will be ploughed back into the Refugee Art Project to enable this to become a self sustaining social enterprise with the potential for long term growth.
Please DO donate generously right now if you can...
...by clicking in the red box which is over on the the right hand side of this page.
P.S. You can donate in the currency of your choosing. Rest assured your contact details are safe with me. I absolutely will not share your details with anyone period. I use Paypal to process all donations which is trusted by tens of millions of people around the world. You can use your credit/debit card to donate or donate from your current Paypal balance. British Sterling, dollars and euros will all be accepted.