Between 8 and 10 September several fires broke out in the Moria Reception and Identification Centre on the island of Lesvos, Greece. The camp was completely destroyed and around 12,000 asylum seekers, after living for several days on the street, have now been relocated to the new Kara Tepe camp, which is being constructed near the port of Mytilene.
Strong of its knowledge of the context and the contacts maintained since its latest mission on the island five years ago, TSF deployed on the ground soon after the fire. Our team installed the first Internet connection to cover the quarantine area of the Kara Tepe camp, where asylum seekers positive to COVID-19 are placed. The Wi-Fi connection has been positively welcomed by the asylum seekers. After water, food and sanitation,it is considered the most important need, because it helps them remain in contact with their families and find important information about their situation. In an extremely uncertain situation, in which they feel stuck on the island, without clear foresight on their future, Internet offers them the possibility to find information on all the possible opportunities and develop a project for a brighter future based on the information they can find online.
At least 9,000 people have already been transferred to the new camp. At least 200 of them have been tested positive to COVID-19 and are thus hosted in a separete space to avoid the spread of the virus in the camp, which would be catastrophic considering the sanitary conditions and the difficulties in respecting basic protection measures. The internet connection installed by TSF is offering a free link to the external world to people who have not only been living in harsh conditions for months, or even years, but who have also had to suffer the trauma of seeing their already precarious lives devastated by the fires and who now see their health in danger due to COVID-19.