Update on Greece Solidarity Appeal and how donations are being used to assist refugees in Greece

Posted On: 7 September 2016

On behalf of the Irish Refugee Council, I would like to warmly thank everyone who donated for their generosity and support. With your help we were able to support the following important initiatives on the ground in Greece. Below is a short report on where and how funds raised have been used so far.

~ Maria

Project lessons in a school for young refugee children on the island of Chios ‘Refugee Education Chios’


Sincerest thanks for your donations which will be spent on project lessons for refugee children in the school. These lessons aim to develop a wide range of cognitive skills including reading, listening, speaking and interpersonal skills. Examples of such project lessons include art lessons, gardening, cooking and t-shirt making.

~ Nick Millet, co-founder and coordinator of the school

Clothing and food parcels for the Chios Eastern Shore Response Team (CERST)



Volunteers preparing the food parcels and the back of a volunteer’s car filled with clothing and food for people arriving by boat early in the morning

CERST is a volunteer-led group that meets refugees when they arrive by boat on the island of Chios. They immediately provide the new arrivals with a change of clothing and food parcels as often people are hungry and damp from the boat journey and may not receive food in the official refugee camps until the following day. In the last few weeks more and more people have arrived on the island of Chios. There are currently 3372 refugees in Chios but the official capacity on the island is only for 1100 so  there is severe overcrowding in camps like Souda.

Food supplies for Zaporeak Proiektua kitchen in Chios

CqC8KduWEAAFN85The kitchen is run by Basque volunteers and make over 1300 meals a day for refugees in the camps of Souda and Dipethe because the Greek army only feeds refugees in the main Vial camp on the island of Chios. All food is bought locally and they provide more nutritious food and protein for particularly vulnerable people such as pregnant women and young children.

We are working with more volunteer groups and NGOs on the ground in Lesvos and Athens to explore where we can be of further assistance with the remaining funds and will provide a more detailed report in the coming weeks. The appeal will remain open in the coming weeks. The Irish Refugee Council is also calling upon the Irish government to honour their commitment under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme and urgently relocate refugees from Greece and Italy. See also our recent press releases which clearly highlight the dire conditions in camps for refugees in Greece:

Urgent need for refugee relocation, says Irish Refugee Council

One year on, Government needs to act fast to keep its promise on refugees

Please also let us know if you would like to join the Irish Refugee Council supporters emailing list to stay up-to-date on our work and wider developments. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can still donate to, or fundraise for, this appeal here.