Introducing the SolidariTee Collection 2020
Organic, vegan, Fair Wear certified and printed using phthalate-free inks.
Pre-order from our online shop from 1pm on Monday 12th October!
COVID-19 and the refugee crisis
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a huge threat and source of disruption globally. However, it is vulnerable communities, including asylum seekers, who will be hit the hardest of all. Europe’s refugee camps are bursting at the seams but woefully under-resourced, and normal preventative measures are incredibly difficult to achieve. Given the unprecedented scale of the current pandemic, we recognise that an urgent healthcare response is imperative in order to save lives.
This is why we launched our COVID-19 Emergency Fund in March - to support NGOs fighting for refugees even as the rest of the world was in lockdown. Applications were open to NGOs working to protect refugees from COVID-19 anywhere in the world and, after careful selection, SolidariTee are proud to announce that we contributed a grant of £10,000 to Kitrinos Healthcare to support their COVID-19 response plan.
Kitrinos have been providing medical care to residents in Moria camp on the island of Lesvos for four years and had been working to expand their operations to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, including:
Setting up a ‘Nightingale’-style emergency field hospital on Lesvos, to treat patients suffering from COVID-19
Providing public health education to camp residents on the importance of social distancing and handwashing, the mainstay of global guidelines aimed at reducing the number of new infections
Evacuating the most vulnerable individuals from Moria camp
Moria camp, on Lesvos island in Greece, was built to house under 3,000 people, but in March had over 20,000 asylum seekers living there. Residents had to queue for up to eight hours a day for meals, making physical distancing almost impossible; the ability to wash your hands regularly is a rarity when you share a tap with 1,300 other people. In recent months, buildings used by NGOs have also fallen victim to arson attacks, making it both difficult and dangerous for volunteers to help those in need.
In September, Moria recorded the first case of coronavirus in its overcrowded camp. Charities on the ground felt that positive cases in island camps were an inevitability, rather than a possibility, but Kitrinos Healthcare’s two-pronged approach, aimed at reducing widespread coronavirus transmission through public education, as well as treating unwell patients who are suffering from COVID-19, will ensure that the camp is as well-equipped as possible.
On September 9th, huge fires consumed the Moria camp and left nearly 13,000 men, women and children without shelter or access to essential services. On top of the overcrowding, inadequate shelter, limited food, water and sanitation, as well as the risk of COVID-19, the fire has decimated whatever little the residents had left, forcing them to evacuate and sleep on the streets. Despite this, the Kitrinos team have continued to support asylum seekers on the island, providing medical advice and vital medications to those with long-term health conditions .
Our other work
At SolidariTee, we will continue to support legal aid as one of the most sustainable, long-term forms of aid that we can offer. Grant applications for the NGOs working in this sphere are currently closed, and the organisations which SolidariTee are supporting this academic year will be announced very shortly.