Today was mainly about visiting various nonprofits in Athens to learn how they are addressing the refugee crisis. Full disclosure, every place we went today was incredibly noisy. I really struggled to hear the content at each place, so today's post will be a bit abbreviated. I was disappointed by the noise since these organizations seemed very well intentioned, but what are you going to do? Here is a breakdown of where we went.
We Need Books
We Need Books is an organization that provides books to refugees. These books are written in Greek, Arabic, and Farsi (they actually have the largest Farsi book collection in Athens). The main goal of this organization is to provide refugees a place to read, learn new languages, and get to know each other. It was nice to hear the stories of how individuals of all ages are able to become more assimilated into the Greek community using these books.
This organization was fun to visit. Hope Cafe is a small cafe and goods distribution center that is run by the founder Carrie (who is originally from the UK). We got to meet Carrie and she walked us through the story of how she got to Athens. Carrie has spent many years in Turkey and Greece on vacation. While on those trips she noticed the mounting issues of the refugee crisis. She spent some time on the Greek islands helping on the front line during the greatest wave of refugees last year. Now that the island landings have died down she has decided to come to Athens where there are a lot of refugees still. She started Hope Cafe as a place to distribute good such as food, clothes, and medical supplies. Very quickly she needed somewhere to store and display these items. That is when she got the space for Hope Cafe. Instead of having people waiting to collect their goods in a dingy hallway, she thought it would be nice to allow them to wait in a cafe of sorts. Now they serve coffee and a few meals out of the cafe. It has become so popular with the locals the there is currently a three week waiting list to visit the goods distribution center upstairs. Carrie was a very inspirational lady. It is amazing to hear these stories time and time again how folks have dropped everything in their lives to help with this refugee crisis.
After visiting these nonprofits we began the first phase of our hackathon. I am really excited to roll up my selves and help both Solomon and Campfire Innovation (which I talked about in my earlier posts) with their technology and business strategy. I will be sure to keep you posted as we dive deeper tomorrow.
As always, I have included my donation page below if you are so inclined. Thanks!
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