As the crowdfuning page has now closed, and the project is well on its way, I want to take this chance and from the bottom of my heart thank all of you who have supported this project. Its been amazing to witness the support and the generosity that is out there in this world which all to often seems saturated with hatred and discrimination. I have started to put together learning materials and book packages that will be bought for the funding through this site and hopefully next week will be able to send the last shipment to Greece.
Meet a few of the people who have helped me for the last two weeks. Incredible individuals with everything against them, but biggest hearts and the most incredible spirits I have ever known.
Today we hope to build some furniture for the community/library space with help from the people in the camp
Tent is up and running and provided a very welcome shade from the sun today. On a request from the community we also managed to put up some basket ball hoops which immediately proved very popular. Kids and grown ups a like have started to wait for the library opening and follow eagerly when the boxes are carried. More and more people come and sit down to ask for help with english. Next step is to decorate and finalize the library running rules and system with the community leaders, as well as ordering necessary books and educational materials lacking.
A lovely article about 'Books 4 Refugees' in the english-Icelanic newspaper GRAPEVINE
An amazing day today - library open for 4 hours with constant flow of people. Some brilliant volunteers from Drops In The Ocean sat with the children and eager parents, going through books and english exercises - tomorrow we will hopefully manage to set up the big tent!
What a day! We made a space out of blankets and boxes with books and opened the library for three hours. Soon a big crowd gathered and the huge smile on everyone faces said it all - parent sitting down with their kids to tell stories or teach, friends debating over particular stories and little children engrossed within their own imaginary world fueled by wonderful pictures in books. I also got a permission to put up a tent which will become the community space for the library and hopefully other learning activities. Constructions will start tomorrow!
After a stressful first day at the camp, learning that I had to get a permission from the Ministry in Thessoniliki to bring the books in - a lot of phone calls, collobaration and charm later, PERMISSION GRANTED! I have started discussions with the community and organizations on the ground about how best is to set things up, a few ideas are up that will be tested in the next few days whilst we wait for the rest of the donations. Meanwhile, the team in the camp is sorting through the 54 kg from Better World Books and Plurabelle!
The buckets are ready for tomorrow night at the Haggerston Pub - 8pm until late some fantastic DJ will spin some fantastic records to get the dancing and the donations going!
These three big ones have just arrived from the amazing Better World Books - filled to the brim with English fiction books for all ages! Thank you so much BWB!