WE ARE CUrrently focused on emergency response in lesvos,
and long-term psychosocial programming in ritsona refugee camp on the mainland.
Click the buttons below to learn more about each of our active operations:
Since September 2015, Lighthouse Relief has organized emergency response operations on the north shore of Lesvos in the small fishing village of Skala Sikaminias. At a distance of 8km, Lesvos serves as a regular entry point for refugees crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Europe. To ensure safe passage for those seeking refuge, Lighthouse Relief has built an around-the-clock team of emergency response volunteers that respond to all north shore landings, operate day and evening spotting shifts, and work in cooperation with the other organizations to ensure arrivals are supported in overnight transit.
Lighthouse Relief volunteers take part in daily spotting activities across the north shore of Lesvos. We operate 21-hours a day, 365 days a year under all weather conditions.
Established in 2017, the Lepetimnos Daywatch is one of Lighthouse Relief's newer spotting operations. These shifts are long and demanding, but our presence is vital and has been proven to save lives.
The Korakas Nightwatch team scans the sea under the guidance of an experienced Team Leader in search of incoming boats throughout the night. While the spotting function is the same as Lepetimnos, the Nightwatch team also occasionally serves as an interim landing team as boats often land close to our Korakas spotting location.
Our Lesvos landing team provides immediate response once a boat has landed anywhere on the north shore of Lesvos.
The landing team is on-call for 24 hour shifts and must be ready to immediately respond within five minutes of a landing call. Once the location of the boat is confirmed, the team will respond with basic nutrition, water, dry clothing and blankets for the new arrivals. Above all, they aim to provide comfort and a sense of calm to those who have just made a very difficult journey and are under high levels of stress.
Arrivals must often remain in an overnight transit camp in Lesvos for a brief period before they continue their journeys through the official asylum process.
Here, they will rest, eat and be provided dry clothes, to ensure that they can continue in the best possible condition. In overnight transit, Lighthouse Relief supports with the preparation of warm beds, distribution of non-food items and re-stocking of items as necessary. The team often remains overnight to provide basic needs and comfort whenever it is needed.
SAFE SPACES & PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS
Our team of skilled international volunteers and staff offers long-term relief, in the form of psychosocial support services, to vulnerable groups such as women, children, and young people in Ritsona camp in mainland Greece, helping them to regain a sense of community, dignity and empowerment.
Youth Engagement Space
Child Friendly Space
Our Child Friendly Space (CFS) is a safe place where children aged 3 to 11 can learn through play and regain a sense of normality in the midst of an emergency. The purpose of the CFS is to offer psychosocial support services that reinforce the resilience and wellbeing of children. It allows them to play with volunteers, create art projects and express themselves creatively in a safe environment. Lighthouse Relief is also committed to identifying and referring vulnerable cases: abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children can occur in many different contexts, including as a result of conflict and forced displacement. Our CFS also offers targeted programming for young girls and parents when capacity permits.
Our Youth Engagement Space (YES) refuses to be reduced to a neat package. Bursting with creative projects, diverse voices, and never-ending fun, the YES is a drop-in center for youth aged 12-25. The YES provides a place for young Ritsona residents to find peer support, engage in dynamic activities, and play an active part in creating and leading programming. From musical performances to volleyball games to creative writing workshops - and everything in between - each day in the YES is packed with action and artwork. The YES gives Ritsona youth a space to create, share, and express themselves fully, rising above the difficult circumstances in Ritsona to create beauty in new ways each day.
Presenting the Ritsona Kingdom Journal
The Ritsona Kingdom Journal is a refugee youth-run magazine powered by young people aged 16-25 in our Youth Engagement Space (YES). It features artwork, creative writing and photography from these inspiring young men and women, bearing witness to their talent and untapped potential. Past content has included everything from letters to global leaders, essays on displacement issues and many beautiful pieces of artwork depicting life in Ritsona.
Click here to learn more.