Sea of Solidarity strives to find local vendors and coordinate with other nonprofits that have people we've met. We like working with locals and people that are committed to helping the refugees long term. Below are some of the projects that we've committed funds to support.
ReVi is a group in Turkey that has, with funding from Sea of Solidarity, started two schools in Izmir.
This is one of favorite projects as it can make a huge difference for many children. Schools in Turkey regularly turn away refugees. They don't have space, they don't have funds, and they don't have teachers.
We found a group of volunteers and Syrian school teachers that were willing to start a school for the refugee children.
Converted shipping containers are extremely useful for emergency response. We deployed our first converted container was used for food distribution at the shores of Lesvos in December 2015, when thousands of people were still arriving every day.
Since then, we have deployed 5 shipping containers for use in various camps for new mothers and babies, medical facilities and community rooms.
Once the refugees are registered with the authorities, they can buy a ticket for the 12 hour ride to Athens. Unfortunately that ride doesn't come with any meals.
We've worked with Anna and her volunteer group, who are bundling up snack packs that include a sandwich, a packaged croissant, an energy bar, a piece of fruit, and a juice box.
Sea of Solidarity is funding 500 snack packs 3 days a week.
Orange farmers on Lesvos don't generally harvest more than is used on the island, because their oranges are not cost-competitive to ship to the rest of Europe. We've found an orange farmer that was barely harvesting, and are paying him to deliver oranges daily to the tea tent on Afghan hill at Moria. This is an ongoing project, and we work with the team that runs the tea tent to make sure enough oranges are delivered each day.
The most vulnerable people are the kids, and when they come in cold and wet, it can be hard to get them to calm down enough to eat. A small supply of stuffed animals, finger-puppets, and coloring books can help break through their trauma and get them to eat and smile again.
We keep the Platanos camp supplied with a small amount of toys purchased at the local toy store on Lesvos.
Sea of Solidarity has found a supplier on the island of Lesvos that imports sleeping bags. We ordered 1000 sleeping bags in early January 2016, funded by your donations. We delivered some of the sleeping bags to the Lighthouse Camp, others to the Moria Family Compound Medical Clinic on Afghan hill run by Sisters In Health.
Iasonas Apostolopoulos (Jason) brought his own personal boat from Athens to help rescue refugees when their boats flounder or start to sink. The team at Platanos helps man the boat. We have worked out an agreement with the local gas station so Jason can fill up and keep the rescue boat running. This is an ongoing cost of a few hundred dollars a week.