More than two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and while restrictions are slowly being lifted up, Za’atar NGO and team remain mobilized to accompany, support and empower refugees and asylum seekers. Here is the last update on our activities.
The shelter has not closed its doors. Food distributions are regularly organized to support the residents who cannot go back to work yet. Za’atar team continues to reply and accompany refugees via Facebook and WhatsApp. For the last two months, we have been observing an increase in messages from beneficiaries. The lockdown measures have indeed made impossible for them to come to class, to the day-centre or to see their psychologist – a situation which has increased their isolation.
In those particular and challenging times, LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers are even more vulnerable. Locked in the camps, they have no more access to the dedicated “Safe spaces” where they used to spend a moment or the whole day to get some rest or relief. Some LGBTQ+ refugees from the camp of Samos notably reached out to ATLAS, the Aid To LGBTQ Asylum Seekers program on Facebook and WhatsApp, which remains active as well.
Greek and English classes are still offered online via Zoom, whose weekly schedule can be found on our Facebook page every Monday. They are to be continued until further notice and even after the reopening of classes for safety reasons.
We are now hoping to reopen our legal and psychological support services as soon as possible.
All throughout this period, you can still contact us through WhatsApp at the following number: +30 694 067 1666.
Stay home and take care.
The Za’atar NGO Team