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Vathy Camp, Samos

October 23, 2023

In 2019, Team RBB were able to support and provide aid to the people living in Vathy Refugee Camp, on the Greek Island of Samos. 

The camp was home to 5000 plus people at the time and majority of the residents were living in tents and makeshift shelters, without heating, lighting, electricity. Living conditions were increasingly difficult and dangerous due to rain and an extremely cold winter as people were forced to live on mud, squalor and dangerous, uneven terrain, with the camp being on a large hill. Snakes, vermin and disease around. 

The situation was critical and in February 2019, and thus, RBB helped the resident organisation on the ground with an urgent distribution of winter aid for women. 

Team RBB then returned in May 2019 after fundraising for and collecting men’s clothing which was then sent in a 40 ft container of aid from the UK, as part of our Brother’s Campaign. Once again we noticed a gap in support for males who were displaced. 

In collaboration with organisations on the ground 1450 clothes packs including a t-shirt, jumper, pair of trousers, underwear and socks were distributed to the brothers in Vathy Camp. 

Unfortunately we were not able to return to Samos as the situation at our base site Chios, escalated with many new arrivals and we only had the capacity to focus there to have a meaningful impact. Although grassroots organisations are always limited due to resources and capacity there was some solace in the fact, whilst we were no longer able to support in Samos, by this time other newer grassroots NGOs had set up in this area, such as Action for Education, providing informal education, and Armonia Project providing hot meals. 

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