How is Covid-19 affecting your work?
Due to COVID-19 we've had to suspend our usual services and close the Armonia restaurant. In addition, with around 95% of our volunteers from the local refugee community under partial lock-down in the camp, we've had to limit the support we can offer them both in terms of material aid and psycho-social support. Additionally, a few of our 'external' volunteers had to return home prematurely as it was uncertain when we would be able to continue normal operations again.
What does your current day-to-day look like?
This week we began providing 3 meals a day for MSF who have 38 medical volunteers living in the camp and provide lunch for Mediequaliteam team of medical volunteers and translators. We are working only with volunteers who reside outside of the camp, and are limited to a maximum of 5 people working in the kitchen. We work from 8.30am - 2pm in the kitchen and then in the afternoon and before we started providing this service we were focusing on internal, administrative tasks, hygiene training and improvements to the kitchen and restaurant while we are closed. Additionally, a handful of our volunteers in the camp have been working on a 'citizen journalism' project. They gather videos and photos of the camp as well as video statements from camp residents. This material is being shared with journalists and we have used it to create the #RaisingVoices branch of the Europe Must Act campaign.
How do you think it will affect the project long-term?
This is hard to determine. In terms of volunteers, it is hard for us to recruit and plan a volunteer schedule as we do not know when we will be able to start taking volunteers again.