In August after a spell fundraising back in the uk, 3 of us from the Belgrade campaign drove through Serbia, Bulgaria and down through Greece’s main land to Athens, where we stayed in the imfamous squat district for a week. We headed to Lesvos and established a space in one of two large industrial building occupied by refugees near Mytellini. There are around 50 people living in the two adjacent buildings, which have no windows, or heating, and only sporadic electrcity and water. We aim to help the residents prepare and endure the winter here, as well as helping with boat spotting activities on the beaches at night.
Previous campaign in Serbia…
After a fast and effective eviction of the camp of 1200 where i’ve been volunteering for the past 3 months, I reflect and consider what to do next with friends from the campaign…
Here’s a link to an article with one of my videos…
And here’s another video from day 1 of the eviction …
So we find ourselves with a huge amount of resources, and talented, hard working people, and the question in everyone’s minds is, where can we be of most use next…?
So from left to right, ignoring the bin bags full of salvaged blankets, and the msf tent, we have at our disposal… a sprinter van, a catering trailer, a shower trailer, a truck with 2000 liters of water carrying capability. .. and my truck at the top, with my mobile workshop. Add to all that .6 of a ton of batteries and a huge solar array on route from the UK soon, and another car and trailer to put it in, and we have a small empire.. of aid resources…
Turkey anyone??? We will need some funding to get ourselves there, but after a few days of research, we think it is where the people most need help atm… we feel the only thing missing now is a marquee to house this future project.
Please forward this and donate below if you would like to help us move forward…
A short video of wood distribution day, while tunes from AAAbadboy’s latest mixcloud mix play on our new creation – a 12 volt suitcase sound system !!!
I have put a few parties on with the suitcase rig ( named Beatrix by the Dutch funders who payed for its creation a few weeks ago ) , and will do at least one every week so that the guys here can have a dance of an evening. I am currently doing my accounts for the first few months out here, which will be on my crowd funding page to show how all your donations are helping out here.
After a few months of hectic camp life, with all its ups, downs and dramas, I am please to announce that I have rented a 9 seater, and driver with legal ability to transport refugees internally in Serbia, and have started taking groups of the youngest and most Keen, on day trips to a national park. I cover basic survival tips, from shelter building, fire lighting, north south orientation, making improvised water filters, and much more. The reaction of the 1st group was golden, as you can see from the pictures… and today rain stopped a volley ball game in the lush green space of a hill top recreation area, but the guys were still happy to be off site for a few hours!
This was all inspired by a tree climbing day last week… Which can now happen regularly while we have the hire van… A huge thanks to those who have donated generously making this possible…
Please use this link to donate to this project…
I have rented the van for a week so far, and we will hopefully see a change to the mental stress on site soon. Just to see the boys out of the filthy camp playing and walking in the woods was so nice. And they came back a little more relaxed. With luck the project with encourage funders to help make this an ongoing daily activity here. Please donate if you can using the link at the foot of this page, and help by spreading a link to this page around your social networks.
After food from the fire, an impromptu dance started up..
Subotica, northern Serbia… the border of Schengen Europe, is one of the hardest boarder crossing the migrants face in their struggle to reach a safe place to call home…
I am providing tools and creative support for the group fresh response who support the people being beaten back from Hungary by brutal police using draconian tactics. I have this week arrived, helped clean and organize the collectives work space, helped make impromptu shelters after a police mass eviction, and today will escort a group of migrants to a pop up shower spot ran by another group if volunteers.
See their Facebook @
This is their brand new video, filmed and edited by volunteers surviving solely on donations and working very long hours delivering food, water, clothes and still making time for this harrowing work… PLEASE SPEAD… DO IT NOW!
Don’t know bout u, but it moved me to tears… PLEASE PLEASE DONATE, either at the bottom of this page, or on their FB page… this work is essentially all the help hundreds of migrants get, from tent visits by our medics, to food and water, clothes, bedding, tents and shelter, EVERYTHING!!!
I will be staying here for a while as they need construction help with showers, toilets, lighting and charging infrastructure, transport and much more… Thanks for your continued support people…xxx
Last mission was making wood burners and provide a workshop and solar charging point in Serbian capital Belgrade at ‘the ‘barracks’ squat.
A short video about the trip and the first few days …
The group have a FB page facebook as soulwelders… have a look.
Follow me on Twitter @direcactionvolu
Please get involved how ever you can. Thanks
So a general over view of the camp is :- there are 5 large Barack type rooms with tent camps inside around wood burners and open fires. The people here were burning railway sleepers until soul welders came and set up installing wood burners. They are buying wood every 2 days and supplying axes and organising fair distribution of the wood.
Hot food idomini are cooking 1000 meals a day, off site, and delivering it and distributing it from a catering trailer at lunch time. No name kitchen is cooking the same amount of food every evening on site.
MSF have a camp of 4 big tents and are giving out Medicine which is being handled by on site doctors who volunteer in rotation and cone from all over Europe and the world.
I have set up a phone charging station which is running most days all day, and charging 20-30 phones constantly on rotation. Yesterday I made some bucket showers which can be filled with hot water from the fire.
Today we bought a trolly load of batteries with your kind donations, and tomorrow we will wire them in and provide light to the dark, smokey halls they are living in, giving them a little bit of dignity to play cards or chess at night tether han just sitting g in a smoke filled room round a fire talking about how to cross the nest border… which by the way, is filled with danger, as the police at the Subotica camp at the Hungarian boarder are beating them half to death, for 5 hours, in freezing conditions in just underwear…as well as stealing their mobiles, shoes and kicking them back into Serbia, or making them cross rivers after the bearing, in the night, into other countries with nothing but injuries, underwear, and fear, to survive un-aided in forests for days on end.
When the camp here is more sorted, I plan to head up there. So stay tuned for the next instalment from the soon.
And please please donate what u can, as I have no desire to leave this important campaign to come home to work to sustain my work here… this week the donations will be spent on getting. Me to the border camps, and buying the same things we used to equip the camp here, up there… lights, showers and fuel for fire wooding and the truck…
Much love, and thanks.
2018, April… So that was the first half of last year. Next I traveled to Lesvos, Greece, where I spent a further 6 months. I set up the FB group refugee art trail, and collected donations to help the social center One Happy Family build classrooms and a clothing ditridistrib center as well as many other projects, while living in a squat with some afghan boys who couldn’t handle the conditions at Moria camp.
I then went to Sicily and Malta helping Mission Lifeline and Sea watch repair their rescue ships, and finally Ventimiglia providing firewood to a squatted camp of 250 refugees living under a motorway bridge.
I an now back home in the UK planning and fundraising for this year’s volunteering and I need all the help I can get. Please get involved in the next trip, in which I plan to travel to germanG, France and Spain teaching practical skills to refugees aimed at giving better work skills to new arrivals in Europe. This will help with self esteem, living conditions, integration, and also help them help to support families back home.
Please share and donate if possible.