The “power of a jumper” – folding jumpers, building boxes, counting toothpaste may not sound like the most exciting tasks, but the thing that makes these seemingly mundane jobs exceptional is the “why”.
With Attika the “why” is that this ‘jumper’ will help a refugee cope with the harsh conditions of winter ina Greek camp. “Why” – making sure a box is sturdy and full means that you can add to an order so that the needs of more people are met. Counting toothpaste takes on the form of individuals and knowing that X amount of people will be able to brush their teeth.
The “why” is the defining moment that gives you that extra drive to accomplish tasks, especially when a pallet of toothpaste falls over when trying to get it up a ramp! Challenges that make you keep calm and figure out a better way of transporting, stacking, and getting the job done.
Attika’s “why” is something quite unique. In a moment in history, where the needs of displaced peoples are ever growing but the ability to supply is increasingly restricted, due to the plethora of other “crises” around the world, Attika persists to fill in the gaps. Attika’s mission is to help frontline Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s) provide support for people in need.
In the two months that I have been working with Attika, I have come to realise the uniqueness of its position. A humanitarian warehouse that has a network that expands all over the mainland and the islands which gives it the eagle eye perspective to understand and analyse the changing dynamics in camps and cities all over Greece and to see the changing needs.
By being able to support NGOs highlights several aspects of the crisis for refugees in Greece. Firstly, it demonstrates the struggles of NGOs to be able to carry out their tasks due to the fact that the Greek refugee crisis is very rarely talked about except for moments of tragedy like the fires in Moria or the shipwreck in Pylos. Only in these moments do people remember that the misery and pain of life in camps is ongoing. However, in these moments where it appears that what is happening in Greece is forgotten, solidarity between those who remain to attempt to respond to the basic human needs becomes quintessential. The seemingly mundane tasks of folding ‘jumpers’; becomes exceptional as an act of solidarity. Knowing that this ‘jumper’ is going to go into the hands of an NGO who is witnessing the growing needs and the urgency to acquire the necessary materials, gives so much purpose to every task in Attika – once you witness the “why”.
The work undertaken by Attika strives, against seemingly insurmountable odds, to provide and restore dignity to those who are forced to endure a way of life that strips away individuality, humanity, and dignity. If you would like to volunteer and be part of Attika’s solidarity team in Greece, then click here. If you are able to donate food, clothes or hygiene products click here. We also need help with the overheads – Attika’s facilities are large and it takes funds to keep it open and fully functional, if you can help please click here.