Shortly after Maurizio's death, NAOMI's Facebook page said: "The NAOMI team is determined to continue any empowerment of girls and women in CASA BASE". NAOMI and CASA BASE have been closely linked for a long time, so it quickly became clear that NAOMI and us volunteers would reopen CASA BASE on the third day after his departure. Fulfilling this promise now poses many challenges.
Maurizio was committed to CASA BASE seven days a week. He was a confidant to the girls and women who found freedom there that they didn't have in the camp. He was the supervisor of the volunteers who worked there. He coordinated everything that was needed for the day-to-day running of the camp: who could offer what courses, how to organise the warehouse and food aid. He offered activities himself, such as photography classes or sports. He made sure the site was a beautiful and colourful place where people could feel at home. He sought contact with the camp, which is no longer open to outsiders. The question is, what skills and experience does a person need to become the new coordinator? It is clear to us that one person cannot do the job.
We're about to head out into the yard for a painting session ...
Planning and Funding the Work at CASA BASE
In many of our daily encounters and tasks, it is important to feel our way forward. What rules are essential to ensure that CASA BASE remains a good and helpful place for everyone? How is the office organised? Where can we find the files and documents we need for our work? We can see that we need to take stock of current needs of the people and draw up a precise plan.
Above all, there is the question of funding. Fortunately, the Church of the Remonstrants in the Netherlands immediately made 8,000 euros available for the employment of a full-time worker. This enabled Maria Eleftheriadou to be hired as a temporary coordinator. The Protestant Regional Churches of Rhineland and Hessen-Nassau provided emergency aid. This opens a window of opportunity to think about the future. By the end of this year, a financial plan for 2024 must be drawn up, covering personnel costs, material costs and emergency aid.
Talks are underway with the Landsaid organisation for half a staff position in 2024, and an application has also been submitted to German doctors. Avicenna provides the medicines, and WHOM also wants to do the advertising for doctors, nurses and midwives. A Danish organisation has already placed two volunteers from Denmark.
Further recruitment of volunteers is being discussed with the QRT team in Switzerland. Former QRT volunteers abroad have spontaneously formed a network and want to actively support Maurizio's project.
It's good that there is so much spontaneous support in this situation of upheaval. It is a good basis to build on. However, CASA BASE needs to be put on a sustainable long-term footing. In addition to the large church and civil society donors, we also need private donors who are willing to contribute (see below under Donate) and volunteers who would like to work for one or more months.
If you are interested in volunteering for a month or more, you can find more information here: [email protected].
The volunteers from Denmark, Germany, Italy and the USA who were immediately on the scene ...
What Do We Want to Do Next?
The situation in the Greek camps is constantly changing. Since the one in Diavata became a registration centre, there has been more fluctuation. At the moment there are 800 people there. However, the proportion of asylum seekers who have been living there for a long time is currently lower. This is because after the registration process (which takes about 25 days) and for the rest of the asylum process, many of them are moved to even more remote camps, where they have no contact with local authorities or aid organisations.
For CASA BASE this means focusing on the following areas:
- Food and hygiene products, especially for large and vulnerable families or single parents. Food and pampers for young children who are not cared for in the camp.
- Shoes and clothing will be added to the programme, as new arrivals usually arrive without shoes and winter clothing, and winter is harsh in Greece.
- Medical care provided by doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as funding for medicines and spectacles. An experienced paediatrician and a midwife are currently working at CASA BASE, they have spontaneously agreed to help. Prevention and counselling are as important as medical care.
- Advice from lawyers from the ELA organisation to clarify rights and obligations in the asylum process.
- A quiet room for mothers with babies and small children, which has been very well received.
- Leisure activities, the weekly sewing workshop with Sonja Savoulidou, where clothes are made or altered, continues to be successful. Sports activities, artistic activities, cooking and baking together take place daily, as well as occasional film evenings...
- Classes (languages, homework help) are mainly for the girls and women who have been living in the camp for longer.
Many are happy to get food for young children here
As a newcomer to CASA BASE, I feel the determination of everyone in the network to continue to encourage and support the girls and women in Camp Diavata. They also need your solidarity and we ask for your support!
Best wishes from Thessaloniki to everyone reading this newsletter.
Michael Seitz , NAOMI volunteer, and the NAOMI team.
(Michael Seitz is a retired pastor who is volunteering with NAOMI for two months until the beginning of December)
Photo Project "visible – sichtbar”
If you would like to get an impression of the creativity of the young women at CASA BASE, you are cordially invited to the "visible - sichtbar" exhibition at the Stuttgart Theatre. There you can see impressive photographs of young refugee women, which were created in a photo project with Maurizio. The vernissage will take place on Sunday, 17 December 2023 at 16:30. The exhibition can be seen until 4 February 2023 at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart in the gallery on the 1st floor.
Alexios Triandafillidis, the social worker at NAOMI, will attend the opening.
NAOMI offers T-shirts, hoodies and bags for NGOs, church groups, and other societies, individually designed with your logo or slogan.
Zoi Keskinidou - [email protected]
All your donations for the CASA BASE project provide people in need with:
Emergency Aid: (dry Food, medical support, hygienic items, baby food and clothes)
The only way to get support is from NAOMI. So every week we provide dry food and hygienic items, pampers and baby food. Some Children are daily provided with a healthy and more nutritious snack in CASA BASE. Daily NAOMI finances and provides medicine that is prescribed by the doctors of the Health Centre.
Let’s give hope and kindness to people in times of deterrence and violation of human rights in Greece!
Supply of essentials as human right is not guaranteed by the government.
German Bank Account
IBAN: DE27 5206 0410 0105 0013 40
Greek Bank Account
IBAN GR110 172 2330 0052 3308 2818 025
Text: CASA BASE
We warmly welcome volunteers in our team!
Best to stay with us for 1 month or even longer.
In CASA BASE
· you can boost the educational and leisure activities for girls and women
· organize the food and medicine distribution
· care for the distribution of clothes
· a great job is the administration of the warehouse and the care for space and garden.
For more information contact please: [email protected]
Living next to people longing for peace and a life in dignity will make a difference in your own life.