Giving hope, one person at a time - join IHA in their mission and make a lasting impact on the lives of those in need.
Our warehouse in Thessaloniki serves as a logistical hub for other organisations working with refugees in Northern Greece, supporting thousands of people in need across Northern Greece. Our approach is needs-based and flexible. We focus on closing supply gaps, providing material help for people who lack institutional support, and on responding quickly and unbureaucratically in case of emergencies.
Clothes, hygiene items, diapers, food, medicines and emergency supplies are stocked in the warehouse and delivered by our volunteer team to partner organisations working in camps, as well as social projects that support people in need (refugees and local Greeks) in urban areas. In emergency situations, we can activate a mobile team from the warehouse to carry out distributions on site.
Based in the small village of Lagadikia, a short distance from the nearby camp, our Community Centre is a space for learning, cultural exchange and building community, and a place where people know they will always be welcomed. The centre offers all people living in the area, be it in the camp or the village, a safe and inclusive space, and opportunities to develop their skills, broaden their horizons, exchange cultural experiences and entertain themselves.
All of the services and activities offered at our Community Centre are run by our team of international volunteers, local Greeks, and community volunteers who live in Lagadikia camp.
Our English classes offer informal education to both camp and village residents wanting to improve their language skills. We currently offer five levels of English run by international volunteers. English is an international language, an invaluable tool which has the potential to ease all parts of life in Europe. Beyond education, our classes offer a space for socialisation and for relaxation, and something to focus on outside of life at the camp.
We offer two levels of Greek language classes, supported by teachers from around the Lagadikia local area. As learning Greek is the first step to employability in Greece and also the main link to the Greek community and to building relationships, it is a fundamental stepping stone to refugees’ inclusion in Greek society.
Our Employment Information Centre (EIC) serves a dual purpose: 1) to help Lagkadikia camp residents access other services and receive useful information about topics relevant to their cases and to life in Greece; 2) to provide individual support to both Lagkadikia camp and Lagadikia village residents with all things related to employability (CVs, cover letters, job searching, job applications, job matching through our network of local employers, professional development workshops). It is a space where people can gain awareness of their skills and potential, strengthen their self-confidence, and start building their personal and professional development.
The centre is an alternative to challenging everyday life in the camp. It provides visitors with a safe space, and people who welcome, listen and support them, and where they can have fun and enjoy themselves. Community time takes place in the main room of the Community Centre during opening times on weekdays. It is a free space for visitors to play games, socialise, read, make music, draw, paint, practise their language skills, and meet new people.
Women’s space is open every Sunday afternoon for all women and teenagers aged 13-years old and over. On this day, the Community Centre is dedicated only to women and their children. It is often the only time and space that the women get to themselves, and so it’s very important that this space is both safe and that they feel ownership over it. It is a place where women can spend time socialising, doing crafts, cooking, dancing, practising self-care, developing their language skills, doing fitness activities, and relaxing.
Our CFS is a place where children aged 2-7 can spend time while their parents are in class or occupied with other community time activities. Childcare can be one of the greatest barriers for parents wishing to learn or access services - and so this space offers a solution to families that benefits both child and parent. It is a safe space provided for our small visitors in order to play, learn, develop relationships with each other, build their self-confidence, and prepare themselves for entering formal education.
Football and field games provide a structured space for exercise, healthy competitiveness and a physical outlet as well as social time for camp residents and volunteers together.
We split into teams and play multiple matches across the afternoon in the field!
We are so happy to have our Community Centre located in the heart of Lagkadikia village, as this gives us the chance to come into daily contact with the local Greek community as much as possible. One of the main goals for all of our activities at the centre is to bring the refugee and local communities closer together. It is vital for refugees as newcomers to a country to feel a sense of belonging in a secure local network where they can build safe relationships and a better perspective on life.
At the same time, it is just as important to us to support the local community that hosts our centre with all the means that we have; supporting vulnerable households and local services, offering job opportunities to local residents, and welcoming everyone to our activities. We are very proud to have developed a stable channel of communication with significant actors of Lagkadikia such as the medical centre, the primary school, the municipality and the church, and we hope that each of these relationships of solidarity we have built will remain strong and grow.
We will keep on providing assistance and opportunities to whoever lives in Lagkadikia, no matter where they are from.
Solidarity across borders! Support us by purchasing a solidarity shirt.
The donation amount from each sale will go directly into IHA’s work supporting refugees in Northern Greece.