I’m off to Greece to scatter kindness with my dear friend Tracey!
A few weeks ago flicking through Instagram I saw a post from Annette Gardner, a lovely lady who was sharing her blog about her trip to the island of Lesvos to help out at “Home For All” which is an NGO (non-Government organisation) run by an amazing couple Nikos and Katerina who own a Taverna by the sea.
We’ve all seen the horrifying images on the news and hear continuous sad stories of those who have had to flee from war torn countries, made seriously dangerous journeys across the sea risking their lives for safety. Those who landed on Lesvos are now detained at a Camp called Moira and reading reports and hearing from Annette they live in terrible conditions. Camp Moira was meant to hold around 2000 people, but in truth there are over 8000 refugees now detained and waiting to find freedom, peace, security and somewhere to call home. I can’t imagine the journey they’ve been on and the life they endure daily. But Nikos and Katerina opened their hearts, they saw their plight and decided to take action and make a difference. They opened their Taverna to feed the refugees and as more refugees experienced their hospitality, they were saying it felt like home and so the Taverna was given a new name. Its now called Home for All and every day Nikos, Katerina and a team of volunteers bring a mini bus of refugees to the Taverna lunchtime and teatime giving them a break from the stresses of living inside the camps. They are able to sit round the table to enjoy a home cooked meal, relax and chat as each refugee is treated equal with love and dignity. Please read more about the amazing work Nikos and Katerina do daily here
From those first horrifying images that I saw in the News back in 2014 I have wanted to go out and do whatever I can to help, but never thought it would be possible. I contacted Annette straight away to learn more about her experience and straight away began to feel very excited at the prospect of going. I sat with it, talked to my partner and daughter and I know it’s not going to be easy, but I also know this is my time to act. So, I’ve booked my flight and I go on Saturday 11th May for 7 nights. I'm excited and nervous at the same time! After putting my plans on FB my dear friend Tracey Geoghegan Smith contacted me and said she'd love to join me. It didn't take her long to organise leave from work and now we're very excited that we will be sharing this journey together.
Nikos and Katerina arrange for the volunteers to stay in a shared house near to the Taverna and all they ask is that each volunteer raise’s 600 Euros which goes towards feeding and caring for the refugees. Whilst I know there’s a lot of work to be done - clean the restaurant, kitchen, toilets and collect the people from the camp I’m really looking forward to meeting some amazing people and listening to their stories and playing with the children.
I’m also told that there is constant work to be done in the storeroom for the donated clothes, shoes and toys as each person who visits the Taverna is free to choose new clothes.
We could see on the news that most of the refugees literally landed on shore with the clothes they were wearing, the children without toys, its horrifying to witness.
It is so heart warming to know the kindness that is being shared through donations sent to Home for All and that at least for one day they get to feel loved and safe.
Of course if you would prefer to make a donation and not purchase a piece of jewellery we will be very grateful.
100% of the profit will go to HOME for ALL in Lesvos to help pay towards the running costs of the project. I have only been asked to raise 600 Euros, but I am hopeful that together we can raise much more. I will keep selling the collection on my website to send love to the refugees for as long as needed.