In the Summer edition of our diocesan magazine The European Anglican we featured the story of Paul Carr who, supported by a group of churches on Spain’s Costa del Sol, embarked on a project to work with refugees and migrants in Greece. Here is his Christmas newsletter update.
Following our previous mission in Greece this year, providing aid to refugees currently persevering horrendous conditions, with the support of the Anglican Church of the Costa del Sol West, I and my fiancé, Gemma Blanchard, created a non-profit organisation called Collective Calling. We are blessed to have the continued support of the San Pedro Church, as well as other local communities and churches on the coast, and we created this organisation to continue to help refugees on a long term basis, making sure that donations for aid go directly to where it’s needed the most.
Over the past couple of months since returning from Greece, we have reached out to local churches in Southern Spain to see whether they would be interested in supporting refugees in Greece. The response we have had has truly blown us away. We created a 20 minute presentation on what we have done so far and what we hope to achieve this time around. Through these presentations at San Pedro, Sotogrande, Calahonda ELIM, St. George’s and the Wave we have managed to raise €4,869 that will go towards aid for a refugee site called Petra Camp, which is located at the foot of Mount Olympus. This site currently cares for 1,200 Yazidi Refugees, 50% are children, there are only 30 toilets and the morale is extremely low. I and one other volunteer will be staying on the site 24hrs to provide aid and support to those refugees for 3 months.
Through the monetary donations so far we can provide enough baby milk formula for 4 months for the 101 babies on site, Hygiene kits, things we all take for granted such as, toothpaste/brushes, soap, shampoo, sanitary items. We will also be implementing activities for the women, children and adults to take part in, one of the struggles is having nothing to do day-to-day.
We had the opportunity to appear on an hour long live call-in show on Revelation TV. We discussed how we are doing our best to help throughout the refugee crisis, and the misconception that the majority of the refugees are economic migrants, the video can be found on our website. Since appearing on the show, Revelation TV has decided to sponsor a 7.5 ton van to pick up aid that we identified in Kiel, Germany. This aid will be transported to Petra Camp once we are on the ground, 14th. November. With winter approaching, the nights are about to get extremely cold, and with the refugees sleeping in tents, this will prove to be invaluable.
We created Collective Calling to gather people together who have had a similar calling to help those in need. Our vision is to help refugees not only in Greece, but around the globe where help is needed. We also have a vision of helping local communities, the homeless, elderly and vulnerable, by bringing resources, skills and volunteers to one focused point through the collaboration of compassionate people who wish to help. We aim to act as a central point for churches to collaborate and use Collective Calling as a direct route to where the aid needs to be. All aid that is distributed is documented by photo/video, which we feel is very important, giving donors the chance to see exactly how far their generosity really does go. Collectively, we can make a difference.
We would like to give our heartfelt thank you to the Anglican Church in San Pedro and Sotogrande who have already provided aid and are continuing to support our mission to help the refugees in Greece, who desperately need our help. Your support has been a true blessing.
Follow our Facebook page and website for updates in Greece. www.collectivecalling.org