The shelter for vulnerable Women and Children Refugees is moving from Athens to Lesvos in Greece and needs your support
Thanks to your generous contributions, the House of Peace was able to stay open! Since February 2017 the House of Peace shelter – initially located in downtown Athens- has been providing: rooms, food, safety and psychosocial support. The women who live there have more in common than just their refugee status; they are also women fleeing alone, without any relatives, only with their children. They established a real community, they live, work, and tackle problems together, committing themselves to creating a safe space, and running the centre. Danish registered charity ‘Team Humanity’ has provided emergency assistance for the shelter, additionally funds were secured in partnership with German-Iraqi organisation Wadi e.V and the Greek organization Stand by me Lesvos.
Leyla -31 years old, Yezidi from Sinjar in Iraq. Fled with 3 children. Leyla was discriminated against because of her faith in the camp and she had no choice but to leave the camp because they were not offered protection.
From Athens to Lesvos
Now our attention turns to the Island of Lesvos. Thousands of what are described as ‘very vulnerable women’ fleeing are arriving in Lesvos weekly: some of these women are separated from their husbands and families, some have no family left, some have children, others do not, but they are all alone, with no one looking out for them. Refugee centres are not providing safe spaces for these women and children. Seemingly small issues like not having separate toilets, showers or sleeping areas, put these women at risk of violence, sexual assault, transactional sex and exploitation from men. Many women have reported forgoing food and water in order to avoid using the toilets; the risk of assault is too high. Others choose to sleep rough, on the beach, in parks, the violence of the centres keeping them from a roof over their heads.
These women and their children have travelled hundreds of kilometres alone, only to find violence, sexual assault, fear, and desperation. This exhausting and terrifying experience is the reality for thousands of women fleeing alone, pregnant, or with small children. They need our help, now.
Being forced at transit centres and in the overcrowded campms to sleep next to hundreds of single men, share toilet & shower facilities, and having no family help or support, these vulnerable women are constantly harassed and at risk.
Fatima – 25 years old, Fled Afghanistan with her two children across the Aegean Sea. She was being sexually harassed at an UNHCR-Camp, her tent was lit on fire as she and her children slept.
In response Stand By Me Lesvos in cooperation with Wadi e.V are moving the House of Peace shelter to Lesvos. The need for the shelter here is also urgent and essential.A lot of women and children have severe difficulties to stay inside the camps and need our help.
The ‘House of Peace’ has been an incredible pilot project that demonstrates how low-cost and effective a response to a crisis can be. The House of Peace shelter, now in Lesvos, will continue to be a safe space initiative and an innovative and refugee involved response to this problem.
Your donation will directly support monthly running costs:
- Rent: 900
- Food: 500
- Children’s activities, games and toys: 100
- Women’s psychosocial support: volunteer provided
- Utilities: 500
- Essential needs (clothing, women’s hygiene articles, nursing supplies etc.): 200
The time to act is now. We can do better. We can help. You can help.
Please mention: “House of Peace” in the Subject-Line of your donation
A joint initiative of:
Stand By Me Lesvos is a Non Profit Social Enterprise addressing the economic hardship and deprivation faced by the refugees stranded on the Island of Lesvos, by providing work and community programs.
Wadi has been committed to working with refugees and women refugees in Northern Iraq for decades, now we bring our philosophy of self-ownership, community, and long-term engagement to Greece. 25 years of experience with starting and operating women’s shelters, café’s and educational centres in Northern Iraq, give Wadi a unique perspective and expertise in providing the tools necessary for women to organize themselves, to work on long-term educational and economic empowerment.