On July 13th 2017, ASB Greece team, together with ASB’s implementing partners – WAHA International and ARSIS, organized the official opening of the Diavata – Anagnostopoulou Refugee camp near Thessaloniki.
Although the camp did not stop working even for a day since it was opened, and although refugees live in new housing units with two rooms, A/C, solar boiler, wifi and TV connection since early May, this event was organized with the intention to host the representatives of Greek government, respected donors, journalists and members of other NGOs inside the camp premises.
The ceremony took place in the unofficial school building in the camp. After the welcoming speech by Ms Angeliki Parasyraki, Country Director of ASB Greece, the opening speeches were held by Mr Andreas Gkougkoulis, Secretary General for the Reception, Mr Sakellaris Hourdas, European Commission‘s representative, Mr Walter Stechel – General Consul of Germany in Thessaloniki, Mr Knut Fleckenstein – member of European Parliament and Chairman of the Board at ASB Germany and Mrs Maria Alverti, Director of Caritas Hellas.
After the speeches, visitors had the chance to see the video called “Dreams in transition”, showing the conversations with refugees living in Diavata camp, and after that the theatrical play called “Let’s be friends” – short performance about peaceful coexistence and friendship, inspired from the classic tale ‘’Peter and the Wolf, presented by the refugee children from the camp and members of Arsis.
When the ceremony finished, visitors had the chance to see 156 housing units, among which those specifically adopted to accommodate people with disabilities, and continuation of works in the camp, where by the end of the year will renovate the existing structures and provide living space for unaccompanied minors, educational space and praying room. After that, guests were taken to the medical clinic inside the camp, where they had the chance to speak to doctors and personnel of WAHA International, who explained them more about the interventions done at the camp everyday.
At the very end, guests visited the kindergarten space in the camp, where buffet and refreshments were served. Buffet food distribution was also organized for all the residents of the camp on that day.
Thank you to everyone who helped this project succeed, it is a result of the well coordinated actions and great will to help to those who need help at the moment.
As Mr Fleckenstein said: “Driven by our moto – “We help here and now”, ASB will continue providing help in Greece, as fast as possible, as long as necessary, representing continuity and reliability”.