Of the total 22.5 million refugees in the world today, less than 1 percent have been resettled. Over 62 thousand refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are currently stranded in Greece, living in temporary camp structures while they wait, often indefinitely, for resettlement. In response to this humanitarian crisis, CCS is operating a refugee volunteer program to support vulnerable women, children, and residents of camps in Greece.
The majority of refugee families in Greece now live in one of 40+ ‘temporary’ camps. The camps CCS work with are situated 50 minutes north of Athens, and each houses approximately 800 residents, approximately half of whom are children. The greatest need the camps are currently facing is the management and distribution of crucial resources, such as water and clothing. CCS volunteers fill this need by funding, supplying and managing the distribution of water, milk, hygiene items, and clothing to all camp residents in a dignified, respectful, and equitable manner. Another significant challenge in the camps is simply a lack of activities and purpose for the residents. To meet these needs, CCS partners with other NGOs, many who have been with the camps since their inception, to work with refugee children and support vulnerable women. The future is uncertain for these families, and restoring dignity and purpose in their daily lives is a crucial goal of this program. Bringing a sense of normalcy and routine in a chaotic and foreign environment is so valued, needed, and appreciated by residents.