On September 8, 2020, fires ravaged the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, completely destroying all shelters. Originally designed for 3,000 individuals, the camp was housing approximately 13,000 people, making it the largest refugee camp in Europe. Humanitarian organizations and agencies are now scrambling to provide new shelters for refugees as quickly as possible.
Although World Missions doesn’t currently have staff on the ground in that region, we were able to partner with i58, an Anabaptist, nonprofit organization with a long-term presence in Lesvos.
In February of 2019, World Missions mobilization administrator Vicky Landis traveled to Greece to explore involvement in the region. While serving in the Moria camp, she met several i58 team members. “We quickly connected over our shared Anabaptist roots,” says Vicky. With the goal of further service and exploration, Vicky returned to Moria with a team in October 2019. Over the two-week period, she met with i58 leadership and the relationship continued to develop.
“When fires destroyed the camp in September, we knew we wanted to help,” says Vicky. “It was a no brainer for us to partner with i58 because of our shared values and the relationship we’ve built.”
This $5,000 distribution from Global Compassion Fund will directly assist i58 as they work with other relief organizations in Lesvos to resettle those displaced by the fires. Currently, i58 is distributing basic necessities like water, food, clothes, and sanitation supplies.
World Missions continues to discuss what a long-term presence among refugees in Europe would look like and in the meantime will continue partnering with like-minded organizations on the ground.
The Global Compassion Fund was established by Brethren in Christ U.S. in 1974 to address practical and urgent needs around the world. Distributions are made possible by close relationships with ministry partners worldwide and the generosity of donors who contribute to the Global Compassion Fund. Read more about the fund and past distributions.