Time to say goodbye. Handing over laundry services on Lesvos to A Drop in the Ocean by March 2022!
In July of 2019, The Lava Project was established as temporary, albeit crucial, auxiliary support to medical NGOs here on Lesvos in need of resources to help residents of the Moria and Kara Tepe camps deal with sanitation-related health problems, skin diseases, and eventually COVID-19, contracted as a direct result of living in EU-sponsored squalor.
In these two and a half years, we’ve managed to wash almost 29,000 bags of clothing and bedding, taken part in 3 successful scabies eradication campaigns, and sanitised 1,000 bags of masks, biohazard suits, and other PPE equipment. We’ve outlived Moria camp at 10x its capacity, the riots of early 2020, coronavirus and its lockdowns, the Moria fire, and the subsequent construction of Mavrovouni camp.
As long as there are people who need our services, we are committed to doing whatever we can to accommodate them. Our ethos from the beginning has been to adapt to changes as sustainably as we can and to only operate as long as our services are necessary.
With the significant decrease in Mavrovouni residents (less than 2,000 people currently), the establishment of other laundry services, and a significant reduction in funding, we’re confident the work will continue to get done without us and any resources donated to Lava could be better spent elsewhere.
Everything about this decision happened so quickly, but we know it’s for the best, so we’d like to inform you that after the end of February, we’ll be transferring our facility and all operations of The Lava Project to A Drop in the Ocean (tag their page), longtime partners who are highly involved in Mavrovouni’s WASH operations, and they will continue to serve Mavrovouni’s general laundry needs.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our past and current partners who supported us over the years in various ways. Choose Love, MSF Greece, One Happy Family, Attika Human Support, A Drop in the Ocean, Kitrinos Healthcare, Movement on the Ground, Indigo Volunteers, Together for Better Days, Watershed, Refugee4Refugees, Yoga and Sports with Refugees, Starfish Foundation, Stand by me Lesvos, UNHCR Greece, WISH, International School of Peace, MissionLifeline, Hands and Feet, Help International, Fenix Legal Aid
and all our amazing volunteers, coordinators and supporters from all over the world: your support over the last 2.5 years has enabled us to not only wash and dry scabies out of baby clothes and duvets, but to help our patients maintain dignity and comfort – both scabies bites and the asylum process are itchy and dehumanising – and we’re eternally grateful for your support.
With love and solidarity,
The Lava team