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Rising xenophobia and insecurity in times of fire and flood


"In the camp, we hold on to each other..."
Photography of a group of young women from the camp in Diavata

Dear friends of NAOMI,

We feel the need to send you a sign of life in these difficult days.

Firstly, we are happy to inform you that our team made it through the summer safe and sound. We resumed work after the summer break on 28 August. CASA BASE in Diavata has survived the disasters of the last few months unscathed and has provided the necessary support to girls and women throughout the summer.

We would like to thank you very much for the many questions about our well-being and the situation in the country.

Greece is in the headlines again. After the devastating fires and the explosion of all the ammunition at the military camp in Achiallos, people in Thessaly are now also being hit by the floods. The images of land and villages along the Pinios River completely submerged, people trapped or missing, and massive destruction to these communities are deeply distressing. The waters have swept away roads and bridges. The regions of Pilion and Thessaly are cut off from the outside world.

Everyone can imagine the consequences of rescuing trapped people, transporting food, caring for the sick, magnitude of emergencies, and severe water contamination. NAOMI is in contact with experienced aid organizations working on the ground and can provide contacts.


Our work at NAOMI suffered greatly from the heat in July and August. People often could not leave their homes and come to NAOMI due to the heat. Many complained of headaches and exhaustion. At NAOMI, the air conditioning was running, and there was always fresh, cold drinking water. There are still shortages in the refugee camps. We are hearing from all over the islands and the mainland that people need more access to drinking water or food. In the camps, where there is no natural shade, the air conditioners often don’t work, resulting in the container homes getting dangerously hot. Medical care by the state health centers is minimal, and there is a widespread lack of medicines and fundamental equipment such as oximeters, bandages, and blood pressure monitors.

It has been known for years that Greece is in breach of the 2007 EU Floods Directive 2007/60/EC, which aims to assess and manage flood risks to human health, the environment, cultural heritage, and the economy. Yet, no accountability is being demanded from the EU for these breaches. They are simply ignored, and no consequences are drawn.

We can expect more of these phenomena in the future because global warming and the warming of the Mediterranean Sea are releasing more and more moisture that condenses into rain. "We are currently experiencing this ..... in Greece. The high-pressure area is over Germany and has caught a low-pressure area over Greece, now bringing heavy rainfall for days. The very warm sea is also creating a hazardous situation. The Aegean Sea has heated up to 25 to 26 degrees Celsius, meaning there is a tremendous amount of water in the air. This, in turn, increases the rainfall exponentially."

So disasters are on the horizon and will continue to threaten our lives unless we change a lot.

In the wake of these disasters, the political climate has become even more hostile to people fleeing and against migrants. The events in Evros, in the border area with Turkey, where paramilitary groups hunt down refugees and hold them captive, only come to light in part. The death of 18 migrants in the fires in the Evros region has not only caused grief among the population. Many blame the refugees for the fires, and the Greek government also supports unproven accusations against people fleeing through its communication method. It is true that in some cases, the Greek judiciary prosecutes people who hunt down refugees. At the same time, however, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hinted in a speech in parliament on 1 September that refugees were responsible for the fires. So he, too, is deliberately stirring up violence against those seeking protection, who are hiding in the forests in fear of illegal deportations and violence by the Greek authorities.

These days, who asks about the many legal and illegal foreign agricultural workers in Thessaly, often living in simple shacks and huts that are particularly affected????

On the one hand, we are concerned that the new disasters will further increase the fear and desperation of the people in the country. On the other hand, the care and security of those seeking protection in Greece will be further dismantled.


"At NAOMI, I feel protected and free....!"

NAOMI's work is essential in this climate of fear, despair, and growing xenophobia. Together with our many cooperation partners, we strive to provide care, counseling, and protection for people. NAOMI aims for the people we care for to feel safe and accepted and receive all the support they need for a self-determined, dignified life. We work hard to build people's trust, which has been severely damaged by daily humiliation and violence. Loving your neighbor is at the heart of our professional work.

We thank everyone who is walking this path of solidarity with us!

With best regards,

Dorothee Vakalis and the NAOMI team.


"I sew my own dress .... The red fabricconnects me to my homeland Afghanistan".

Good news from NAOMI in a few words:

  • In December, there will also be a photo exhibition in Stuttgart. On display will be new photos of young women from Camp Diavata taking part in the courses at CASA BASE.
  • Since 1 September, NAOMI has been running an organizational development project funded by “Kirchen helfen Kirchen” (Churches help Churches) in Berlin and led by Alexis Vrachnos. Alexis is an experienced project manager with many years of experience in organizing facilities for underage unaccompanied refugees in Northern Greece. So we hope we will be well equipped to deal with the challenges in these difficult times.
  • To date: 85 participants in the Textile Academy in Thessaloniki and 15 participants in CASA BASE
  • In social work, 25 cases were intensively looked after in the first half of the year.
  • Every month, more than 3,000 Euros are provided for medicines and glasses, and 5,000 Euros are needed for food supplies for people without basic food provision. Here we depend on your cooperation...


NAOMI offers T-shirts, hoodies and bags for NGOs, church groups, and other societies, individually designed with your logo or slogan.

NAOMI's e-shop



Zoi Keskinidou - [email protected]


The NAOMI administration and salaries are financed by 6 partner churches in Germany, Netherlands, Italy.

But we call for private donations and church collections to relief the greatest needs of the most vulnerable people. All your donation provides them directly with:

  • Emergency Aid: (Food, Medical support, hygienic items, baby food )
  • 1600 summer trousers for homeless people made by NAOMI
    Here you can pay for trousers:  https://medical-volunteers.org/de/4000winterhosen/
    The German partner organization issues donation receipts for the German tax office.

Camp Diavata: On May 18th the Greek government announced that food will be cut from refugees who had their case rejected or have received a positive asylum decision. The reality of this is:  over 300 people in Camp Diavata, next to Thessaloniki, are left with no food or drinking water, no financial support. Among these people are babies, children and pregnant women, sick and disabled people.

The only way to get support is from NAOMI and our partner QRT. So every week together we provide food boxes or supermarket voucher for 300 people (5.000 Euro per month are needed!) and medicine.  

Let’s give hope to people in times of deterrence and violation of human rights in Greece!

Greek Bank Account
Piraeus Bank 
IBAN GR110 172 2330 0052 3308 2818 025

German Bank Account
Evangelische Bank
IBAN: DE80 5206 0410 0005 0013 40


NAOMI depends on volunteer’s engagement to support our team in their daily tasks.

We warmly welcome volunteers in our team!

Best to stay with us for 2 months or even longer.

  • We urgently call for volunteers with expertise in business, marketing, IT and public relations.
  • In the Textile Academy you can assist the teachers in the various lessons (also without knowing sewing)
  • The Team in the textile production is happy about every volunteer to work with them.
  • In CASA BASE you can boost the educational program and social activities for girls and women.

    For more information contact please
    Gabriella Sampsonidou, coordinator of the social department [email protected]


    Living next to people longing for peace and a life in dignity will make a difference in your own life.

    We thank our partners

    Image description
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    Quick Response Team

    Image description

    Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk

    Naomi Facebook
    Naomi Website

    Copyright © Naomi Thessaloniki, All rights reserved.

    E-shop: https://shop.naomi.gr
    Facebook: @NAOMIPROJEKT1
    Email: [email protected]
    T: +30 2311 243415

    Our mailing address is:

    29A Ptolemaion Str.
    GR 54630 Thessaloniki, 6th floor

    Board of Directors
    Dorothee Vakalis, Prof. Petros Panagiotopoulos, Paschalis Kassas

    legal status: non-profit Greek society (AMKE)
    VAT: GR 997203035, 4th tax office Thessaloniki
    Registered in the Chamber of Societies
    Thessaloniki, since 8.4.2016

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