LaunchGood
Organized by Amber Safa

Support Refugees In Ramadan

$35,491

raised of 0 USD goal

388 supporters, Project Closed
Success!

Impact: Idomeni, Greece

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This campaign will collect all funds raised by July 6, 2016 at 5:45 AM EDT

Help Volunteers From Team Humanity Provide Iftar In A Refugee Camp


Update (July 4th) –

WOW !! Throughout this campaign, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many donors who have come together to make a huge impact on the lives of refugees. In response to this generosity, I have raised the goal of this campaign several times... 

But I want to raise our goal one last time, to $30,000! 

That's $1,000 a day – enough to provide adequate food and water for everyone living in Oraiokastro refugee camp for the entire month of Ramadan.

I want you all to know that the donations Team Humanity received so far have already gone to work to feed people at the Oraiokastro refugee camp. 

Even if / when we reach our goal, if you feel inclined to add a donation, please do so knowing that every penny we receive from this campaign will continue to ensure refugees have enough food and clean water. 

I will be traveling to Greece in just a few days to volunteer in person with Team Humanity, and I'll be sure to update everyone who contributed to this campaign with photos and stories from Oraiokastro, so you can see exactly where your donations went.

Thank you a million times for your amazing support!

Update (May 27th) –

You may have heard that over the course of this last week, the Idomeni refugee camp has been evacuated by EU authorities, and as of today, the camp is officially closed. 

Team Humanity is continuing their volunteer efforts, and has relocated to another refugee camp in Thessaloniki. 

I want to assure you that aside from the location, not much has changed: Team Humanity is still working with the same group of families, they are still providing the same services described in this campaign (below), and they will still be using 100% of the funds raised through this campaign to purchase food for refugees. 

Ramadan In A Refugee Camp

For many people, Ramadan is a time of voluntary fasting during the day, and sharing joyful meals with family and friends after sundown. But for tens of thousands of refugees, this Ramadan will be spent living in a tent city in the borderlands of a foreign country, separated from family, community, and any sense of security. My dream is to raise money to provide iftar (dinners to break the fast) for refugees who are stranded in this desperate situation. 

I have connected with Team Humanity, an organization that has provided tremendous assistance to refugees arriving in Greece since last fall, and they are ready to receive your donations to purchase food and prepare iftar dinner for refugees. 

We would also like to use donations to purchase and provides dates, the traditional fruit for breaking a fast.

Amal filling up one of Team Humanity's four vans with food and supplies for Idomeni.

A Message Of Unity & Support

As refugees continue to arrive in Greece with no way to continue onward with their journeys, the situation is growing increasingly unpredictable and frightening. Borders remain closed with no word of when they will open. Many camps have been closed by authorities, and refugees have been detained or deported. 

In the camps that remain open, living conditions are difficult at best, with little to no access to basic facilities such as showers and kitchens. Medicine and food are also in short supply. 

Team Humanity's nurse Shirin with a child in Idomeni.

As refugees remain stuck in this situation, it's only natural that feelings of tension, fear and hopelessness are growing. Many people feel their struggles are being ignored by the global community.

By providing food for iftar and dates to break their fast during Ramadan, you are not only helping to feed hungry people – you are also offering the crucial gift of emotional support by providing refugees with an opportunity to practice a familiar custom in a time of uncertainty. 

Team Humanity volunteers Amal & Shirin playing with children at Idomeni.

You are telling refugees that, although they may be separated by many miles and very different circumstances, they are not forgotten – they are all still a part of the global community and observing this holiday together with you.

After all, this message of unity and compassion is the very spirit of Ramadan.

A child at Idomeni holds a sign that says, "Save us we are children".

Team Humanity: Dedicated Volunteers

Team Humanity has been working on the ground in Greece since Fall 2015. 

The team was originally based on the island of Lesvos, where they worked tirelessly to help refugees arriving by sea. Team Humanity volunteers personally helped thousands of refugees, including children and babies, to make it safely to shore. The team also provided blankets, warm clothes, medical care and shelter to the refugees throughout the past winter on Lesvos. 

Team Humanity's Salam helping babies arrive safely to shore

As volunteers at Lesvos, Team Humanity participated in the human drama and tragedy of this refugee crisis – sometimes taking search & rescue boats to search for lost relatives, or pulling drowning people from the sea, other times helping to identify the bodies of refugees who did not make it to shore alive, and providing families with a funeral. 

I don't believe you can find a volunteer group with more integrity or dedication.

A boat capsizes as it reaches the island of Lesvos in October 2015. Team Humanity's Salam is heading into the water to help people reach the shore.

Mirlinda & Salam carrying children to shore.

As a result of the recent agreements between the European Union and Turkey, most of the grassroots volunteer organizations were required to leave their operations in Lesvos this March. 

Team Humanity did not abandon their efforts to help refugees, however – instead they moved their operations to Idomeni, a refugee camp at Greece's border with Macedonia. 

There are more than 11,000 refugees living in a tent city at Idomeni, with absolutely no formal infrastructure to support them. Team Humanity is one of approximately ten volunteer groups working in partnership to provide food, shelter, medical care, and personal hygiene facilities to the refugees at Idomeni. 

Team Humanity volunteers beginning to organize a warehouse they have acquired for supplies at Idomeni.

In particular, Team Humanity have provided a medical tent, a private tent for women with babies, and a children's tent where they can draw, play and socialize. They are also organizing a warehouse with clothes and personal care items, and have provided pots pans and cookware for families, built fire pits for families to cook over and stay warm, and a brick oven for families to bake bread. 

Salam's project: building a brick oven for baking bread


The children's tent at Idomeni, newly created by Team Humanity

Team Humanity's next projects are to build a shower facility, as well as a mosque for families to pray in. 

Preparing For Ramadan

After the shower facility and the mosque have been built, the next project will be to prepare for Ramadan.

This is where YOU come in.

100% of the money Team Humanity receives from this campaign will go directly to purchasing food for refugee families. All of the volunteers working with Team Humanity pay their own expenses, none of the donations they receive are used for personal or administrative costs.

With your donations, Team Humanity will be able to create a food tent where refugees can gather to break their fast with a date and enjoy an iftar dinner. 

Again, this is about something deeper than just providing food, it's about the emotional support you can offer by helping refugees participate in a familiar custom while they are stranded in an unfamiliar land.


How You Can Help 

Everyone can help! Even if you cannot make a donation at this time, please share this campaign with your friends and family. Please use the sharing buttons at the top of this page to post this campaign to Facebook and Twitter. Click the heart icon to show your love, and to stay informed of our progress. 

Even a small donation can have a big impact. 

Because Team Humanity will buy food supplies in bulk, and because every family has a different number of adults and children, it's hard to say exactly what your money will do. 

But here are a few approximations to give you some perspective:

For $5.00 you can buy yourself one cup of coffee, OR you can provide breakfast and dinner for a refugee - all the food and water they will have that day.

For $20.00 you can buy yourself a movie ticket and some popcorn, OR you can feed an entire family for a day.

For $100.00 you can take someone out to dinner in a nice restaurant, OR you can feed an entire family for almost a week. 

For $500.00 you can provide food and water for a family for the whole month of Ramadan. 

With even a small sacrifice on your part, you can make a tremendous impact in someone's life. 

I know that traditionally crowdfunding campaigns offer "rewards" for giving at different donation levels – but both time and resources are scarce in Idomeni, and asking Team Humanity to fulfill on rewards for your donation would mean diverting time and money from helping refugees. 

Please follow Team Humanity at the sites below, and watch as your donations make a real impact on people's lives – I hope that will be reward enough for your generous contributions! 




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Updates 3

Amber Safa8 years ago

Almost to the finish line!

Greetings of peace and love to everyone who has supported the Team Humanity fundraiser ... 

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who contributed to this campaign or supported it in any way with your likes, shares and tweets. Due to your incredible generosity, we are now in shouting distance of $30,000 !! 

Shortly after Team Humanity relocated their operations to Oraiokastro, Salam let me know he thought it would take €800-1,000 Euros per day to make sure everyone in the camp has their basic food needs provided for.

If we calculate based on the lower end of that range, then raising USD $30,000 will mean that this campaign provided the means for an entire refugee camp to have enough food and water for the whole month of Ramadan – and every one of you played a role in making that happen! 

This campaign will stay open for donations until the morning of July 6th, but Ramadan may come to an end tomorrow, or even today at sundown. We don't yet know, but these could be your last moments to maximize the impact of your support. 

If you haven't done so recently, please consider sharing this campaign with your network – please tell people via social media, email, phone calls and conversations that we are within reach of an incredible accomplishment! 

Lastly, I wanted to let you all know that I will be returning to Greece on July 7th, and I am hoping to launch a project to help the individuals and families living at Oraiokastro tell their stories. I will be sure to include you in the distribution of their stories and photographs, so you can get to know the people you supported during this holy month.

With love,
Amber Safa 

Amber Safa8 years ago

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Greetings, everyone, and Ramadan Mubarak to those of you who are celebrating!

I wanted to send out this update to tell you all how amazed and grateful I was to discover that we have crossed the $6,000 mark on our campaign! 

This is a really significant number, because Team Humanity have calculated that they are spending $1,200 per day on FOOD ALONE at Oraiokastro - where they are now the only NGO providing consistent support to all the refugees in the camp.

By helping us raise $6,000 we have ensured that everyone at Oraiokastro will have enough food for five entire days. 

What did I do when I saw this magic number? Well, firstly I tried not to choke on my tears! And secondly, I reached out to LaunchGood and asked them to raise the campaign goal to $12,000 ...

I know that's a big number, but if we can raise $12,000 that will mean that we have made sure the entire refugee camp has enough food for TEN DAYS this Ramadan! 

I know all of you receiving this message ave already given deeply, but even if you cannot make another donation, there are still things you can do to help us reach this new goal. 

Firstly, you can use the social sharing buttons at the top of our donation page, and share this campaign on Facebook, Twitter, or in a direct email message:

https://www.launchgood.com/iftarforrefugees

Secondly, you can contact me to coordinate an offline fundraiser or outreach to one of your local organizations who may be willing to make a contribution: ambersafa@gmail.com - email me anytime!

Thirdly, you can offer your prayers for the success of this fundraising effort, and especially for the refugees we'll be supporting with your generous donations ...

Many thank yous again for your support, it is making a significant difference in the lives of many people, including hundreds of children!

With love,

Amber Safa

Amber Safa8 years ago

Thank you for your support!

Greetings!

I cannot thank you enough for your support of our Launch Good campaign. 

I'm writing to give you an update about the news from Greece. You may have heard that over the course of this last week, the Idomeni refugee camp has been evacuated by EU authorities, and as of today, the camp is officially closed. 

Team Humanity is continuing their volunteer efforts, and has relocated to another refugee camp in Thessaloniki. 

I want to assure you that aside from the location, not much has changed: Team Humanity is still working with the same group of families, they are still providing the same services described in this campaign, and they will still be using 100% of the funds raised through this campaign to purchase food for refugees. 

I will be traveling to Thessaloniki tomorrow, and I hope that I will be able to update this page with new pictures of Team Humanity's operations. 

If you haven't done so already, please consider sharing this campaign to help us reach our goals. With just the click of a button at the top of our campaign page, you can share to Facebook, Twitter, or send personal email messages to anyone you think would want to know about the work we are doing. Our campaign will remain open and active throughout Ramadan.

With love,

Amber Safa


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