GEN LogoGEN Takes Action regarding the Refugee Crisis on the Island of Lesbos

“Together we aim to provide help on the ground in Greece and take responsibility for an issue that affects us all.”

Dear Ecovillage Communities of Europe,

Every day new refugees from Syria and other war-stricken countries arrive in Europe. Many of them in the Greek Island of Lesbos after a dangerous boat trip over the Mediterranean Sea.

We are all affected and saddened by the extreme uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes. As we know, many existing and emerging communities stand for a different, peaceful development in our world. Many members of our communities are already active locally, offering their support to those fleeing war zones and to the people arriving in Europe with little more than the clothes they are wearih took place from 4-8 November in the Unity Center in Switzerland’s Schweibenalp Community, bringing together representatives from 14 communities along with the GEN Europe Council. We devoted an entire day to discussing how, using our combined strength, we could actively help the refugees. Following a 1.5 hour walk in silence through the Swiss mountains and ending in a natural place of power, we exchanged our personal impressions of the experience of refugees on their arduous journeys to Europe. Anna from Skala Ecovillage near Thessaloniki enriched this exchange with her poignant description of the dramatic situation on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Leros, and how help there is so critically needed. We were all deeply moved, and as a result decided as soon as possible to field a mission to Greece in which all of us across Europe could take part.

Towards this end a team has been formed consisting of colleagues from ecovillages in Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Sweden and Germany (Skala, Schloss Glarisegg, Amalurra, Los Port Suderbyn, Schweibenalp and Heilhaus communities) and Robert and Rales,osalie from the GEN Europe Council. This team will establish the necessary structures to build up a group of 40-50 people coming from the various communities, with each person spending a minimum of 1-2 weeks in Lesbos over the next 6 months. Anna, from the Skala community in Greece, is currently on site in Lesbos making contacts and searching for a suitable building to be used for accommodation. You will be hearing from us with further details very soon.

During the Green Phoenix congress we already raised 1355 Euros for the refuGEN project. A sub-account for donations has been set up to provide support the Lesbos mission. Donations can be made to the GEN Europe Postbank account at the foot of this letter. Please mark your donation with “refuGEN”.

Today we are asking you to inform your communities about this project, and to see if there are people among your communities willing to consider a deployment of this type to Lesbos, on a self-financed basis. Please refrain at present from replying directly with further enquiries as we will be following up this letter with an email providing more detailed information of how to apply to be a refuGEN volunteer. It would be wonderful if we succeed to gather this large team of volunteers creating a community of communities, as it were, so that we may offer some hope to those who need it.

On behalf of the GEN Europe Council and the refuGEN team,

Robert Hall



Robert Hall

Global Ecovillage Network - Europe



Phone +34 684356653

Skype robert.hall79



Twitter: @geneurope

ZEGG – Center for Social and Cultural Design

Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 89
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The ZEGG is a community of about 100 adults and children. How can we create a sustainable and creative life and an awake awareness to promote issues of love and sexuality, ecology, community, and create policy. We invite you to visit us, especially our summercamp.

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