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Newsletter
 
September 2018

From the Editor
 

Dear friends and supporters of Naomi, 

We are happy to send you the  second newsletter  and share with you the achievements and the developments of our organization.  As you will see in the  newsletter, our staff and volunteers are engaged with passion and great devotion to make the life of people in need more bearable and give them hope.

Summer was an exciting period for Naomi. Not only we were able to experience our vision: "Fair Jobs and a Life in Peace for All" by hiring three more refugees for a summer project, but for the first time we had the opportunity to "export" our expertise in the area of textile and refugee employment by networking with another NGO ("Not a Factory"). 


Refugees continue to arrive in Greece. Naomi continues to support vulnerable cases, and in the newsletter you will have the opportunity to grasp a glimpse of our work among them. 

At the same time, our vision for networking and informing the world for the multiple crises we are dealing with in Greece will be fulfilled with the participation of our Manager of Finance and Social Action, Manolis Ntamparakis, in the International Peacemaker Program of the Presbyterian Church of USA. 

Thank you for your interest, support and solidarity. 


Sincerely, 

The Newsletter Team 

Dorothee Vakalis, President of Naomi Board

Manolis Ntamparakis, Manager of Finance and Social Action
Eva-Maria Kiorpelidis, Finance and Administration Assistant 
Textile Workshop 
The NAOMI Textile Workshop Department was very busy during summer! It all began with a cooperation contract signed in June between NAOMI and the Dutch Non Profit Company “NOT A FACTORY“ (www.notafactory.com).

They state their mission as follows: ”Give refugees – and others who are in a desperate situation – an opportunity to work, become part of a team and collaborate with each other. During that time we produce something together, an organic T-shirt.“
 
This is not a simple T-Shirt it is so much more. And the slogan “THIS IS NOT A T-SHIRT” is not just a slogan.  It means much more:
  • Earn an income. This is the first step towards financial freedom from government benefits.
  • Have a health insurance. Employment allows you to register with the national health and retirement insurance .
  • Get a bank account in your name for the first time.
  • Sign a work contract.
  • Work in a team and also have some fun, overcoming the language barrier.
So, when NAOMI first heard of the idea of NOT A FACTORY of producing T-Shirts in Greece and give refugees a chance to earn their living, our staff were happy to share with them some insights.
 
‘Not a Factory’ later decided to change their base of operations and moved from Larissa to Thessaloniki and, based on both sides willingness to cooperate and thereby learn from each other and achieve goals, they could not achieve alone, in June a very close partnership emerged.
 
NAOMI offered its workshop, expertise, recommendations for cutting and printing companies, helped with the Greek bureaucracy, and above all chose and trained 4 of our skilled sewing refugee students who are now working half-time for ‘Not a Factory’ making T-Shirts!!
 
The production has been extended until the beginning of October to make a few more T-Shirts than originally planned. Then all sizes and colours should be available to order for those of you who do not have one already.
 
For Naomi's Textile Workshop product catalogue click here

© Photo Chrissi Wllkens: "Collage of hands of minors refugees in Crete"

Social Action 
NAOMI provides fast and intensive support for refugees and migrants in need, in several cases with the help of our partners in Greece and abroad. The most important social interventions of the last two months were:
  • NAOMI supports a family from Nigeria for more than a year. The father and the infant daughter are in a specialized clinic in Italy, because of the medical condition of the child. NAOMI financed the travel costs and cooperates closely with the organization Mediterranean Hope, Federazione delle Chiese Evangeliche in Rome which hosts and supports the father. Because of the special treatment in Italy, the mother is left alone in Thessaloniki. She works hard as an employee and cares by herself for the other two minor children of the family. Naomi's staff helps her on a daily basis. 
  • NAOMI immediately responded to the urgent reference by the local Diakonie office of a Syrian single mother, a recognized refugee in Westphalia in the process of Dublin family reunificaton. She came to see her three minor children who are under the care of a Greek NGO in Kavala. Thanks to the local German speaking Protestant Community, whom NAOMI contacted immediately, the Syrian woman was provided with friendly accommodation. Additionally, they helped her to come in contact with the Greek NGO, the on duty prosecutor and the attorney.
  • Approached by an employee from one of our close partners, NAOMI staff is organizing in a hospital in Berlin with the help of specialists a medical treatment for a severely physically disabled Kurdish infant living in Iraq.
  • The German speaking Protestant Church in Athens offered to host a family that was referred to NAOMI by a partner in Württemberg. The family was living in a camp in the area of Athen under challenging living conditions. 
  • Thanks to our partners in Switzerland Iain and Anna Campbell we were very happy to support financially the expensive dental treatment in the University Hospital of Thessaloniki for two young men from Syria and Algeria. Most of the refugees face serious dental problems and Naomi, in the past, financed the dental treatment of several cases. 
  • For two children of a family from Nigeria, whom NAOMI supports them for several years, NAOMI arranged a free of charge participation at a 3 weeks- summer program of the local YMCA. NAOMI, also, covered the cost for the issue of new passports for the mother and the three children. 
  • We prepared and submitted together with seven refugees, clients of NAOMI, the applications to study Greek at the “School of Modern Greek Language” at the University of Thessaloniki. We consider it to be a key-way for them to be enabled and supported to learn the Greek language in a academic environment in order to start a new life and to become also role models for the refugee population of Thessaloniki. Additionally, NAOMI bought their textbooks and covered the cost for an intensive preparation course. 
  • Naomi supported financially a family from Palestine with two children who arrived from Gaza.  NAOMI provided, also, legal aid and general support. The Greek police in the Evros region, arrested them immediately after passing the land border. 
  • A Christian woman with trauma is supported nearly on a daily basis. We accompanied her to several authorities and therapies and brought her in contact with Christian communities in the area of Thessaloniki. NAOMI financed the total cost of her medical treatment and paid the Internet contract for her in order to be in contact with her family, friends and supporters.
  • A woman traveling alone is hosted for 14 days in the summer house of a NAOMI volunteer and a family with five members found a "godfather" volunteer.
The last two months, NAOMI contributed 7.500 euro in order to cover the emergencies of our clients. The financial aid and support in goods were only possible because of private donations and churches' collections. Please, continue to helps us in our effort to support people in need. 
How You Can Support Naomi Projects
ORDER 
You can order and buy handmade aprons, bags, jackets, shirts and other items, which have been produced by refugees in the textile workshop. We send your order by courier. Every acquisition of a NAOMI product provides support for people in need.

DONATE
Your financial support helps to transform lives. Our project, programs and staff are financed from partner organizations and private donations.
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Email:naomi.thess@gmail.com
T: +30 2311 243415



Our mailing address is:

NAOMI ECUMENICAL WORKSHOP FOR REFUGEES 
29a Ptolemaion Str., 6th floor
GR 54630 Thessaloniki

Greece


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Naomi · 29A Ptolemaion Str. · Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 546 30 · Greece

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