Emergency Aid Distributions
Goodwill Caravan recognises the need to provide the very basics for people already living in desperate situations and so this was one. of the first programmes we set up. We distribute aid across our own shelters and Sallam Centre, as well as detention centres and refugee camps including basic items such as food, clothing, diapers, baby milk, sanitary towels, sleeping bags etc.
Access to these essentials that most of us take for granted, is not only a necessity but should be a basic human right. Goodwill Caravan started by providing bulk aid distributions to refugees in the Calais Jungle refugee camp and this will always be at the core of our projects.
We have added regular supplies of soap and hand sanitiser to our aid distributions. There is a strict 2 household limit within the distribution centre and staff ensure social distancing is maintained in the queue outside.
The Greek healthcare system can be very challenging for refugees to navigate and so our Medical Office ensures they receive the care they need.
We book appointments and advise our clients on the right medical facilities to visit depending on the specialty required. We also send interpreters and someone to accompany the client and advocate for them.
Where needed we help our clients access free private healthcare. We also ensure that children are up to date with their vaccinations.
Accompaniment bus service to hospitals
Following a tragic set of circumstances where a baby passed away because an ambulance service refused to attend an emergency call in the middle of the night at a refugee camp; Goodwill Caravan began the Accompaniment Bus Service.
Our Accompaniment Bus Service helps refugees get from remote camps to the local hospital so that they can access healthcare services. The service also takes refugees to asylum services that are not accessible by foot from the camps. Prior to the launch of our Accompaniment Bus Service, in order for refugees to make a morning appointment they would often have to travel the night before due to a lack of available and affordable transportation. They then relied on friends for accommodation, cheap hotels or slept on the streets near the hospitals. For those refugees unable to do this, it prevented them from attending medical appointments.
Goodwill Caravan’s Accompaniment Bus Service is the only one of its kind in Athens.
Due to social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 refugees travelling on our bus service are required to wear masks and we are only able to take half the usual number of people.
Unfortunately due to a lack of funding our bus service is on a temporary pause. We do hope to restart it as soon as funds allow.
At present, there are over 120,000 refugees in Greece, who have escaped disaster, only to find themselves living in unimaginably difficult circumstances on the streets, in camps or in detention centres. 40% of these refugees are children, including unaccompanied children being detained in adult prisons. Without assistance from organisations like Goodwill Caravan, these families and minors will remain indefinitely in this frightening and dangerous environment.
Not only are children and vulnerable refugees exposed to the elements right through the year, but sleeping in tents and makeshift shelters means they have no safety or security from the gangs that roam the streets and camps.
Once Goodwill Caravan takes in a vulnerable family we support them every step of the way until they are safely handed over to UNHCR housing, are legally flown out of Greece with the ‘Family Relocation Program’, or are reunited with family members in Europe etc.
To help protect our families from the pandemic we have been buying them extra cleaning products to ensure they are able properly disinfect their homes, especially any communal areas.