DISTRIBUTE WATER & CLOTHING
About this Project
Refugees often fled their homes and country holding only their children, and leaving their personal belongings behind. With the eyes of the world on the refugee crisis, supplies have been donated, but sorting and distribution is a challenge with lack of human resources at refugee camps. It's essential to organize, stock, and equitably distribute these goods to fulfill families’ basic needs and uphold their sense of dignity.
After working with other organizations on the ground in the Ritsona refugee camp in Greece, CCS has located an urgent need for volunteers to run the Ritsona distribution center, including managing daily distributions of drinking water, milk, organizing material donations, and operating the boutique wherein camp residents can “shop” for their monthly allocation of clothes and shoes. Providing each of these services not only helps ensure that some of the most basic human needs of residents are being met, but also upholds residents’ senses of agency and dignity.
Many refugee camps in Greece were designed to be very temporary stopovers, until the Balkan refugee route was closed in 2016. Families and residents have found their “temporary” stays in these refugee camps to stretch up to and sometimes well beyond one or two years. Many things in their lives are uncertain, not the least of which being when and to where they will be permitted to relocate. As volunteers, we may not be able to change the circumstances that have led residents to be in camps, and we may not be able to change how soon they can leave, but we can ensure that their time spent in camps is as dignified as possible.
How Your Work Makes a Difference
Through water and milk distribution, volunteers share compassion and kindness with residents while meeting a basic human need. Volunteers in the distribution warehouse take on the important task of sorting through and organizing donations, making sure that quality clothing and shoes make their way to residents, from infants to aging elders. The boutique shop presents a unique way for residents to reclaim a sense of agency and dignity, by selecting the items that they want and need for their families on a regular basis. Volunteers will make sure the shop is adequately stocked for a variety of age, size, and gender needs, and serve as personal shopping assistants, giving customized care and attention to each family visiting the boutique. By focusing on building relationships with residents and treating them with respect through all aspects of the distribution process, volunteers not only provide the only sources of clothing and water in the camp, but also help improve residents’ sense of dignity and stability in the face of so much uncertainty.
Volunteers must be 18 or older to Manage Water & Clothing Distribution.
CCS funds the Ritsona Distribution Center. Learn more about how you can help.