Pledge to make a difference, together.



Limnou 9,
17123 Nea Smyrni,

Our Mission

Project Elea is a grass-roots volunteer organization created in Athens, Greece in June 2016 to support the Eleonas Refugee Camp community with a current population of about 3000 people including more than 1000 children (July 2021). The objectives are to help the residents meet their basic needs, improve the living conditions, create and maintain an environment of peace, stability and positivity, with a strong sense of community, safety, dignity and opportunities for all. In such an environment, the residents can start to heal past wounds and slowly rebuild their lives. Through opportunities for education, creative-engagement, empowerment, skill-development and employment they can ultimately achieve independence, self-reliance and social integration. The project operates independently and has the approval of the Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry to be work at this government-run camp. Project Elea collaborates closely with a large number of local and international actors to provide extended services of the highest quality with a holistic approach.

During the last 5 years of continuous presence at Eleonas, more than 1500 international volunteers and numerous resident-volunteers have contributed 300 000+ hours in supporting the community. The services and programs offered are designed to respond to the actual and ongoing needs of the residents with a medium to long-term approach. The impact for the community and the thousands of individuals who have benefited from the presence of the project has been immensely positive over the years which is a source of satisfaction and strength for the Project Elea team. In a better world refugee camps would not be necessary neither in Greece nor elsewhere but by all indications Eleonas camp will continue to exist and to host a large refugee population for the years to come. Project Elea remains equally committed and determined to continue standing by the community for as long as the need exists.

Current situation in July 2021 - starting 12 months ago, the living conditions and the state of the camp have unfortunately deteriorated significantly mainly because the population has increased from 1800 to 3000 people with about 1000 of them living in temporary tents without electricity or running water. The overcrowding and the very challenging conditions are constantly creating tension, uncertainty, black-market conditions, occasional violence and fewer opportunities. Moreover, a significant part of the residents no longer receives the much-needed EU monthly cash support and as a result they struggle to meet their basic needs in terms of food, hygiene items, medicines, etc.

Project Elea offers a large variety of services, distributions, educational programs, creative engagement activities, workshops, employability support, excursions, events, etc. Following are the detailed listings of offers in each area:

DISTRIBUTIONS Project Elea is in charge of essential food distributions that take place periodically or for certain vulnerable families. It also receives and distributes on a daily basis large amounts of donations such as all kinds of hygiene items, baby items, clothing, blankets, toys, etc. Equality and fairness are the guiding principles when doing distributions and special attention is given to the most vulnerable individuals and families.

EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS English language classes (40 hrs/week) German language classes (10 hrs/week) French language classes (10 hrs/week) Greek language classes (10 hrs/week) Arabic language classes (10 hrs/week) Farsi language classes (10 hrs/week) Homework Club (5 hrs/week) Conversation Club (5 hrs/week) "Little School" Educational kindergarten (10 hrs/week) Math Club (5 hrs/week) Science Club (3 hrs/week) Vocational training (whenever available) Skill-development workshops (various types) Sewing classes (4 hrs/week) Library & Storytime (10 hrs/week) Ideas Box - mobile multi-media center with endless educational resources and online learning opportunities. Specialized courses in Athens - connecting residents with a variety of short / long-term courses offered outside the camp and supporting them with the application/registration process - vocational training, university classes, language courses, skill-development workshops, etc.

CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT FOR CHILDREN Barca Foundation Football Academy (12 hrs/week) Skateboarding classes (8 hrs/week) Sports & Games (8 hrs/week) Arts & Crafts (6 hrs/week) Dance (6 hrs/week), Theater (4 hrs/week) Violin classes (5 hrs/week) Singing & Music classes (4 hrs/week) Volleyball (6 hrs/week) Teenager Time (6 hrs/week) Basketball (5 hrs/week) Team-building games (4 hrs/week) Community events (monthly) Clay workshop (4 hrs/week) Henna (4 hrs/week) Film-Making (occasional workshops) Bingo (2 hrs/week) Karaoke (2 hrs/week) Badminton (2 hrs/week) Movie nights (4 hrs/week) Events & Community parties (monthly) Excursions and visits in Athens

ACTIVITIES & SERVICES FOR ADULTS Art for Adults (2 hrs/week) Women's Group (8 hrs/week) Yoga (2 hrs/week) Volleyball (8 hrs/week) Skill-development workshops - at camp and outside in collaboration with various partners: woodwork, design & technology workshops, empowerment sessions, art & culture events, etc Employability - support with CV-writing, cover letters, interview skills, links to job posts, personalized guidance, research, networking and applications support Cooking Classes (periodically) Sewing classes / workshop (6hrs/week) Self-defense for women / Ninjutsu (periodically) Football tournaments (periodically) Excursions and visits

EXCURSIONS & VISITS TO PLACES OF INTEREST IN ATHENS The objective is to take children and adults out of the camp as much as possible and introduce them to things they can do in society, the visits are usually themed around culture, sports, arts, nature and entertainment. Following are examples of places we visit: Acropolis with guided tours, Stavros Niarxos cultural center, Greek National Opera, theatre performances, various museums, art exhibitions, amusement parks, sports events, ice skating, wall climbing, escape rooms, bike tours, street art tours, bowling, fairs & festivals, concerts & shows, beach, skateboarding parks, etc.

LIVING ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENTS Colors for Eleonas - color painting with different combinations of all the houses with the objective to aesthetically improve the environment and influence positively the psychological state of mind and happiness levels of the residents. Green Streets project - construction of flower planters, wooden benches, tables, shoe-racks, ramps for wheelchairs, shades, storage space, etc that make the living conditions more comfortable. Gardens and outdoor sitting areas development - construction of several social & sitting areas with durable communal wooden furniture (tables and benches), mural paintings, installation of solar lights etc for residents to have safe and comfortable outdoor spaces for socializing.

PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Project Elea has many partners in the Athens area and abroad with different expertise and who regularly provide high-quality programs for Eleonas residents: Barca Foundation - Football Academy for boys and girls Odyssea - skill-development, 3D printing, technology workshops, employability Organization Earth - environmental initiatives, lessons, CV writing, garden set-up, etc Murathenes - Singing classes for children Free Movement Skateboarding - skateboarding classes for children and teenagers El Sistema - violin classes for children, singing groups for children and adults CHEERing - pregnant ladies and new mothers support, nutritional advice, grow clinics Exile Room - Film-making workshops for teenagers CodeCreate - for teenagers to learn coding Makerspace - skill-development workshops ANKAA Project - professional development and community space Pireus University Courses - online language courses American University of Athens - connecting residents with scholarship programs KHORA Community Center - food support for vulnerable people Humanitarian Bank - clothes, toys, furniture, baby items, hygiene items, etc Victoria Art Project - art classes and projects for children Pampiraiki Refugee Solidarity Initiative - clothes, food items, hygiene items, toys, etc

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