Refugee Camps in Greece
In Refugee Camps in Greece Since 2016
Greece is currently home to tens of thousands of refugees, with more arriving daily, having risked their lives to make the treacherous journey by boat. Over half of them are children.
These Refugees live in camps, squats, and on the streets, where their lives have little to no structure. Refugees arrive daily on the Greek Islands of Lesvos, Samos, and Chios, where the camps host 2-4 times their intended capacity, forcing new arrivals to sleep in tents or out in the open for months until they are given a place in the camps. Even after getting a space in the camps, their lives can only be described as tenuous, as the camps are full of hunger, illness, monotony, hopelessness, and far too often, suicide.
SMF Programs in Greece have proven to provide hope where none exists.
As Refugee children learn to play their own musical instrument in the SMF program, they realize they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. As they sing together, they learn to listen to others, and also to themselves. They use their brain in a new and exciting way, and the future becomes less scary as they realize that they can set goals and achieve them. As the children realize these things about themselves, they become resistant to the lure of extremist and terrorist groups, knowing that they can create a life of peace for themselves.
For Refugee Teenagers and Young Adults, the biggest problem to overcome is hopelessness. As they become SMF Volunteer Teachers and begin helping the children to heal, they also become leaders and role models for the children and in their camps. They realize that they are uniquely qualified to help the children by teaching them. And through their service to the children, the teenagers heal and become leaders and examples of hope. Beginning in 2016, the Shropshire Music Foundation established successful programs in two separate Refugee Camps in Northern Greece.
We have also trained and equipped more than 50 Refugees, Greeks, and International Volunteers on the Island of Chios, in the Athens Area, and in Northern Greece.There is a desperate need to continue and spread SMF programs in Greece.
Peace Through Music Kosovo
The war in Kosovo ended in 1999, but the affects of this war --Poverty, Intolerance, Segregation, Racism--are experienced every day, especially by children raised in camps and those living in minority communities. SMF is working with the children and teenagers of Kosovo to develop self esteem, tolerance, and a love of peace through music.
Peace Through Music Uganda
Northern Uganda is recovering from a brutal civil war in which 20,000-200,000 children were abducted and forced to become child soldiers. Over 1 million people were forced to live in IDP camps, where they experienced malnutrition and extreme poverty. Many people continue to live in these camps even though they are closed. SMF is working with children, teenagers, and young adults who were child soldiers as well as children born while their mothers were abducted, building tolerance, peace, and especially self worth through music.
Peace Through Music Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland continues to be 95% segregated between Catholics and Protestants. Bombs explode or are discovered weekly, and riots take place monthly. Murals of men wearing balaclavas and holding guns are on homes and businesses everywhere. Children and adults alike suffer from low self esteem as they experience anger and violence daily. SMF is working to bring children together from both sides of the community, forming life-long and life-changing relationships through music.
Refugee Camps in Greece
The war in Syria is at the root of the worst refugee crisis since WWII. Children are being both targeted and recruited, and families have left Syria by the millions. SMF is building a program not just for Syrian refugees, but also Kurdish, Afghan and Yazidi children and teenagers-- all in Greek refugee camps. The program is providing structure and much-needed opportunities for acheivment and self expression.
Serving Street Children & Rohingya Refugees
Bangladesh is home to approximately 1.6 million Rohingya Refugees, living in some of the largest Refugee camps in the world. Bangladesh is also one of the poorest countries on the earth, with over 31% of its population living below the poverty line, with limited access to any type of education. SMF has the potential to make a significant impact in the lives of both Rohingya and Bangledeshi children.