Nea Kavala, day one, Thursday, 9th of August 2018

My schedule today:

Check out at the market

Today I meet Molly, the Dråpen i Havet volunteer coordinator at Nea Kavala and get my induction to my work. Everything is very well organised over here. Molly introduces the new volunteers to the rules and shows us our workplaces.

Wegweiser im Camp
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

There is the Drop Shop where the inhabitants get clothes and some basic foods from. You can also find a laundry, a sewing workshop and a service station where the build and repair workshops take place. Especially during school holidays a huge range of leisure facilities take place that are taken care of volunteers.

Dropshop Nea kavala
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

My first job today is in the Drop Shop. It’s funny. Every two weeks the people  get several ”Drops”, that is the name of the cryptocurrency of the camp. The most favourite articels are T-shirts and shorts but also soap and toothbrushes.

Drop Shop
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

In the Drop Shop there is a good mood, mainly the teenage girls have a lot of fun. I feel like being at an Arabic bazar.

At the check-out desk there are sometimes discussions between the volunteers and the residents when they don’t have enough points to buy everything they want. We are lucky to have some refugee volunteers that help us translating.
The Drop Shop is a place to socialise, I talk to many people.

At lunch a small boy is sitting in our Community Space. He tells me he wants to go to Germany to be a policeman, when he was older. I teach him counting in German, write it on a piece of paper and ask him to practice it. I’ll see if he comes back for more lessons.

My second job today is at the laundry. Our task is to give the people appointments for using the washing machines. If you have two children, you may claim two wash cycles within two weeks.

Terminvergabe laundry
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

Everything is limited and documented in an EDV system.

A young man is late and gets a little bit angry because we could not give him another appointment the same day. His friends talk to him to calm him down. Other men watching this situation come over and apologise for the behaviour of their friend.

Volleyball, Abendstimmung
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

The late afternoon seems to be the nicest time of the day. The refugees and volunteers play volleyball in front of the Drop Shop. There are many children and they are all allowed to join.

Abendstimmung, Musik
Foto: Andrea Koltermann

It’s a very good mood over here. Music is coming out of a box that is standing on a car and some volunteers are dancing with the children.