Tolou is an association that aims to promote education, self-reliance and self-confidence among the residents of the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. To date, the camp has almost 20,000 refugees. Tolou means "sunrise" in Persian.
WHO WE ARE
All our actions are carried out by and for the residents of the new camp.
We try to provide resources to empower people through education, sport and the development of individual skills.
Fearlessness and the desire to move forward in a difficult environment guide our strategy and actions.
Tolou has no political or religious affiliation. Our association is open to people of all ages and nationalities.
Tolou's first initiative was the creation of an English language school for children and adults.
We set up a team of 11 Afghan volunteer teachers, most of whom are not qualified teachers, but who shape and run the classes according to their own skills.
Every day, more than 200 children benefit from the classes, with a rotation that takes place at every hour of the day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Several hundred refugees live in Mytilene, located 2 km from the new camp. At their request, we have opened a classroom in town allowing a little more than 100 students to have English, French, Greek and drawing lessons.
The classes are led by a team of teachers, composed of refugee and international volunteers. Every week, the waiting list grows longer: there are still too few schools, either inside or outside the camp.
FIRST AID TRAINING
The health situation in the new camp is disastrous. Poor hygiene conditions lead to many diseases. Insufficient health care is a major concern despite the efforts of medical organisations on the ground. At night, when there is less security, almost no medical staff is on site.
Our first aid training is designed to provide first aid to victims while waiting for qualified staff to arrive. People will learn how to act in the event of bleeding, hypotension, fainting, respiratory problems, dog bites, etc.
Initially, volunteer professionals will provide training to volunteers from the various communities present in the camp (mainly Afghan, African and Arab). Then, under the supervision of the professionals, the participants will take turns teaching small groups of people first aid techniques.
As a result of the cascade effect, an increasing number of camp residents should be able to carry out emergency actions effectively.
WOMEN'S TRAINING PROGRAM
Women are drivers of change, both in the present situation and for the future. Thus, and in response to their request, we have prepared a program that promotes women's autonomy and aims to strengthen their self-confidence.
The program will last eight weeks and will include general knowledge, an introduction to the European labour market, basic computers skills, English classes and workshops in creative expression through photography, video and painting. In collaboration with the Yoga and Sport for Refugees Association, women will also have self-defence, volleyball and swimming training.
Through communication and cultural awareness, we hope that the programme will facilitate the transition to life in Europe, where expectations, interactions and opportunities differ from the countries of origin of the women of the new camp.
Many women feel uncertainty. Against the passive life imposed by the conditions in Moria, we respond with the necessary energy to look concretely to their future.
SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES
The residents of Camp Moria have skills, experience and ideas. But very often, a lack of resources and daily challenges prevent them from implementing any initiative. Most of the time, camp residents are forced into inactivity.
Identifying people with talent and helping them showcase that talent, through financial support or strengthening their skills, is one of Tolou's main objectives.
Currently, we promote local culinary skills and artistic creation for women from Cameroon and Afghanistan.
Many refugees who have obtained their status find themselves on the street from one day to the next without any support and many are forced to sleep in Victoria Park in Athens.
Aware of the importance for refugees to gain psychological stability in order to move forward, we have rented several apartments in Athens. Accommodating refugees is a priority in Athens and allows them to finalize administrative procedures and focus on their professional and family projects.
To help finance the rents, the young Afghan women we house make carrot jam that we sell. It is also a way for them to achieve their goals through an activity they have mastered.
Do not hesitate to send us an e-mail if you are interested!
Tolou is a French association.
Your donations will help us to finance at first:
- the rents to accommodate a maximum of refugees
- school supplies for students
- the material for the painting courses
- 2 cameras for photography and video courses
- 4 computers for training for women
If you have a preference for allocating your donation to a particular project, please let us know by email. As far as possible, we will try to use it as you wish.
We try to restrict in-kind donations to avoid logistical complications. We prefer to receive funds that allow us to purchase homogeneous equipment while promoting the Greek economy.
Let’s foster the talents in the camp!