Newsletter February 2018

Monday, 26 March 2018 13:09


+++ Newsletter - February 2018 +++

“It is such a big opportunity for us. We are able to get out of the camp, learn a language, communicate. The camp makes me depressed. When I was outside and I was introduced to the Greek culture I saw the other side of the coin. I believe this is the purpose of these activities. To help us forget, to give us the feeling of joy. This is what people in Mosaik do” ( Roja, 20 years old, student in Mosaik)
Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,
with this newsletter we want to update you on some things that have happened on Lesbos and at Mosaik since the summer of  2017.
General situation:

Lesvos is still going through a very challenging time as winter set in and Moria camp is bursting at the seams. The population of Moria camp these days is still over 5500 people (including 1000 children and minors) while it was built for only 2000 people. Hundreds of women, men and children are sleeping in flimsy summer tents. After the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, arrivals had decreased. Since last summer however, numbers have risen up again and October 2017 saw a record number of 2266 arrivals in one month. Over the last months, 40% of those arriving on the boats are children. The majority of people are from Syria, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Despite calls from various actors to #opentheislands, the decongestion of the islands has been too limited and too slow (especially in light of ongoing arrivals). On 8 December, the Ministry of Migration said they intended to move 5000 people to the mainland by 15 December 2017. Unfortunately, the actual number is much lower. In the meantime, the despair of the people stuck on the island continues to grow. There has been a rise in self-harm and suicide attempts. Overcrowding and inhumane living conditions lead to increased tension, sometimes resulting in violent clashes and at times fires inside Moria camp. After fights erupted one night in Moria mid October, Afghan refugees refused to go back to Moria camp and started a protest in Sapfous Square. More people joined the protest. Their protest went on with the occupation of the Syriza building in the center of town.

We also, once again, mourned the loss of life at Europe's sea borders. Mid November, the bodies of two children and one adult man washed up on the shore. They turned out to be a Turkish family who tried to flee Turkey by boat. Mother and child are still missing. On 25 November, a 10-year-old Afghan boy died in an overcrowded dingy. And in 2018 one man lost his live in the sea near the harbour of Mytilini apparently trying to leave the island with the ferry boar to Athens.

Mosaik continues to be one of the main institutions on Lesvos to meet peoples needs by offering educational and recreational activities and a safe place of welcome and respect outside of the camps. Mosaik’s work is essential for many people and gives them stability and structure in a difficult time. Through our activities we create joy and the feeling of achievement plus the feeling of empowerment and creativity. This project is a great success due to many people working together.
Although Mosaik can hardly cover the needs of all people, it still is an example of how interaction between the "new" and the "old" community can be established. With mutual dignity, respect and interest for each other, it represents our vision of how we should face and react to the reality of migration. Mosaik therefore is a place of solidarity and of political significance, where everyone participating is developing ideas for a common future. Through open and respectful interaction - like celebrating together each others festivities - we daily build bridges instead of walls. We come closer together and learn about and from each other and work on solutions to one of the biggest challenges of our times.
Quick facts about Mosaik:

Our activities doubled since the opening in summer 2016. We are running parallel classes at the same time starting at 10:00 o 'clock in the morning until 22:00 in the evening from monday to friday in four classrooms and two workshop spaces.

At the moment about 800 people are coming regularly to classes, activities or workshops with an estimated number of 300 people daily. Participants are coming from more than 20 countries from all over the world and are of all ages. Even though we try to include everyone who is interested in our activities, we are not able to cover the high demand.

Mosaik Support Center is a joint cooperation between the two NGOs lesvos solidarity and borderline-europe.

In August 2017 we celebrated one year of Mosaik. This picture is from our anniversary party.

More than 30 people are working at Mosaik regularly, most of them on a daily basis and on a contract. The managing and reception team consists of 8 people. Their job is to organize and maintain the structure and to assist the 15 teachers and 10 workshop instructors in running their classes and seminars. Additional interpreters and volunteers raise the number to more than 40 people in total.
Mosaik offers different classes: we have Greek, English, Arabic and Farsi language classes, IT-classes, a literary workshop and a poetry club. Additionally we offer Yoga five times a week, a children's choir every Thursday afternoon, guitar classes, different upcycling workshops, a storytelling workshop, as well as changing events and workshops like theatre, film screenings, awarness sessions, informative sessions, fieldtrips and outside activities according to our financial situation.
Our upcycling workshop organized a bazar before Christmas.

For many participants the IT classes are the first opportunity to learn basic skills on a computer, increasing their future chances.

Our Yoga classes bring together many different people in the evenings.

One of the most inspiring things for everyone at Mosaik is the success and progress of the students in language and other skills, which is being rewarded by our own diplomas. Congratulations to all graduates! At the end of each course we try to drink a coffee together and/or give small presents. 

Our storytelling workshop published a book with different stories written by our students.

Our cooperation with two NGOs focussing on legal aid continues. Legal support remains very important due to the unpredictible handling of asylum cases and a totally chaotic sytem. For more information check diretly with our partners: The Legal Centre Lesbos and the  the RSA - Refugee Support Aegean. Both are based in the rooms next to Mosaik where they are sharing an office.
Also we are happy to see that one of Mosaiks main aims - to facilitate the interaction between the migrant population and the local community - is coming about, too. After first doubts, especially by the Greek community, we notice that through activities like sports and music, people loose their fears and start to interact. In this sense, the choir and yoga are a great success. The same goes for language classes, bazaars or joined celebrations of festivities like Iftar, Eid and Easter celebrations. These contacts support exchange and show that differences between one another are not that big at all.

For more information on our safe passage bags workshop and our upcycling workshop products check here the online shop

Solidarity and support:

In 2017, Mosaik gratefully received support from

- Mercy Corps
- Odysseas (Greek-German iniciative)
- The Evangelic Church of Westphalia from Germany (Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen)
- Kirk in Actie from the Netherlands
- Vi gör vad vi kan from Sweden
- Agkalia (NGO based in Lesvos)
- Attika (Iniciative based in Lesvos)
- Help Refugees from the UK
- Ecumenical Center of the Evangelic Church of Hessen in Germany(Zentrum Oekumene der  Evangelischen Kirche in Hessen und Nassauund der Evangelischen Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck)
- IRC ( International Rescue Commitee)

and many private donors.

We'd like to take the opportunity to thank all those who supported us in the past and present, who enriched Mosaik through taking part in its development and work. Your solidarity is the essential key to the interaction between people at Mosaik.

Besides our cooperations, Mosaik depends on and is financed through private donations. Out of our political convictions, we have not applied for European or state sponsorship. Please consider supporting us so that we can sustain our independent work.

We welcome everyone to find out more about Mosaik. Please spread the word and feel free to forward this mail and the address of our homepage to friends and colleagues. If you have questions or you want to visit please write an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
If you want to donate to secure Mosaik's work in the future this is our donation account:

Donation Account for MOSAIK only! 

Recipient: Borderline Europe e.V.
IBAN: DE54 4306 0967 4005 7941 02
44774 Bochum


Your Mosaik Team

phone: +30 2251 054 561 | web:
  mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | facebook: mosaiksupportcenter

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Phone: (+30) 2251 062 000


Phone: (+30) 698 872 49 82


RECIPIENT: borderline-europe e.V.
IBAN: DE54 4306 0967 4005 7941 02

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