• Jack Iacovou

Dancing for the refugees on Lesvos


Katie and her husband Ioannis got married on the beautiful Island of Lesvos (Mytilini) in September 2014, a year later they returned and experienced a very different place. Thousands of refugees in migration through Lesvos- the stepping stone to Europe.

They wanted to do something, however small to help, so they planned a fundraising night, in partnership with a local project in Lesvos where talks were held about the current situation by local people from Lesvos, and food and other activities were also available to raise money.

On sale was olive oil from Lesvos, art work, and very unique bags handmade by the refugees to help raise money for food and water. These were made from the raw material, like lifejackets, that were used during their dangerous journey to Europe.

At Katie and Ioannis' wedding they had a wonderful Greek dance lesson which everyone really enjoyed, and Katie chose Figoura to do something similar for this humanitarian event and we were very honoured to be part of it.

Whilst the events that occur on Lesvos cannot be overshadowed by dance, we understood that through dance, many refugee children and their parents were able to keep their spirits up, at a time when life seemed to be at rock bottom. Dance, especially Greek dancing is about community spirit, and that is exactly the essense here and what Figoura do best.

We prepared and danced a suite of dances from Lesvos including various styles of Karsilamas, Ballos and Sirtos. There were over 100 people at the event and the dancing was very well recieved by all the guests.

The event organisors commented...

"Thank you so much! Really impressive dancing everyone loved it! Thank you so much for your generosity it's so much appreciated".

On the night the event managed to raise £8,000 for the Odyseus charity.

Here are some of the ways the charity Odysseas helps refugees in Lesvos:

Transportation:

As the local buses are not allowed to take refugees, they have organised a special bus service, which also distributes food and water.

Mobile kitchen:

A big kitchen offering up to 1800 portions per day to people staying around the port waiting for tickets and ferries.

Tents:

Installed 10 tents tents at Pikpa last month- and plans to install more.

Interpreters:

In October, employed a young refugee to work as translator. Every day 7 times per week he goes trough the tents and houses of Pikpa ( camp) . This is essential as he can really talk to people who can express their feelings and needs.

If you or anyone would like to get involved in this charity, please email us so we can put you in touch with the organisors.

#charity #lesvos #mytilini

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