Dear Friends and long term supporter, we are sorry to communicate that COVID 19 didn't bring only a closing of the borders and forced us all to change drastically all our plans, but it also marks the end of our activities in Thessaloniki. The current situation forces us to this, was not a choice. We will try to use this time to understand in which way to continue our activities and to care with the kindness of those who are in need. For this reason, we are also putting our page on "break". Hopefully, we will be back soon.
Philoxenia is an action group initiated in the autumn of 2015 in response to the great amounts of people fleeing from war torn territories and seeking refuge in the European soil. The term philoxenia means ‘love for strangers’ and highlights the true generosity of spirit. We strive to share this kindness of spirit among everyone forced to live in disadvantaged conditions, through the provision of warm meals and a comfortable space in stressful environments. We hope to restore a sense of humanity and instill a spark of kindness that people can carry with them throughout their journey.
Every day, ordinary people must flee their homes for fear of death or persecution. Many leave without notice, taking only what they can carry. Many will never return. They cross oceans, risking their lives and future. When they cross international borders they are called refugees or migrants. Despite the harsh conditions and the high risk of drowning at sea, thousands of people are still making the treacherous journey into the EU. This initiative emerges from a desire to support these people in some of their daily challenges. We feel that at the end of the day, a warm meal can go a long way.
The largest amount of people who we support are living in very disadvantaged conditions. The improvised shelters are usually within abandoned buildings, old houses, cars, or in the summer, parks. 90% of the times they don’t have access to camps and they have a really low possibility to get in the asylum program. While in the past this was the case of many families, today it is mostly the situation of single men, especially young men and teenagers between 15-21 years old.We are also collaborating with other groups, who are assisting newly arrived families, who also cannot immediately benefit the support of the camps, as well as local vulnerable population.Our goal is to offer food indiscriminately.During the distribution we are trying to relief the needs of beneficiaries, in collaboration with other groups (doctors, lawyers) who are focusing on the streets population.
“The food distribution is in the first place a huge mental support, because we don’t need to think every night where to eat. We have many worries, you take care of one of them”.
– M., from Afghanistan