Expanding to another camp is a big decision but the community here is so isolated they have very little support and opportunities.
The 200 Syrians living on this small camp have good local support from the Syrian-born mayor but are a long way from any key services and there is only one other NGO permanently on-site running an education project. As a result, there is very little support and with no local shops it is expensive for them to get supplies.
Just 2 weeks after visiting LM Village, we set up a mini-market there. The nearest town is 6 miles away. The food they receive from the government was going to stop 2 weeks before we were due to arrive. They have to travel to Athens for their asylum interviews at huge personal cost. Our shop stocks fruit, vegetables and Syrian staples so that all the families on the camp can choose what they need, right on their doorstep.
It’s clear how our free mini-market helps: it takes an hour to walk to the nearest shop. It’s expensive with very little choice. Then there is the walk back with all the supplies. So the second service we set up was a weekly trip to the market in Andravida. We hire a coach and give 50 residents the opportunity to stock up on good value supplies – which is also investing in the local community.
- Population: 200 Syrians, many Kurdish, with over half under 16 (capacity 300)
- Services: mini-market, gardens, weekly market trip with other services planned
- Volunteers: about 4-6 working from about 9:30- 5 or 6pm, Monday to Friday, half day Saturday (and days off as needed)
- Volunteer accommodation: a hotel at the nearby port of Kyllini with direct ferries to the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos