Back in 2017, I first headed out to Greece - to the island of Chios.
After two years working on our first projects on this island - an amazing Youth Centre and High School - in December 2018, it was time to move on.
Quietly and consistently, over the course of last year, the numbers of asylum seekers on Samos grew immensely. Little was know about how dire the situation was, until that December of 2018.
At that point, it became clear that we HAD to do something. On the neighbouring island of Chios, we had resources, experience and determination.
Over that Christmas, I knew I'd be coming to Samos to set up a new centre with my friend and colleague Lutz. I guess I was scared. How could I set up something new? What if it failed? What if we ran out of funds?
But what we've all achieved since that end of January has been incredibly inspiring.
Not only have we set up this 'centre', but we've expanded to 3 buildings: running an education centre for 18 - 23 year olds, as well as a children's space for 2 - 7 year olds, AND a new Computer Lab building digital literacy skills.
Things have moved at a rocket pace. And they had to. We continue to meet needs that a critical here. Hygienic, nutritional and psychological.
Over the past months, I've had the absolute pleasure to work with teams of PHENOMENAL volunteers; I've met brilliant, intelligent and caring supporters and partners who are now friends and people I love working around.
We welcome hundreds of students into our 3 centres every day, offering respite, education and recreation away from the horrible refugee camp here.
The Action for Education team is amazing: critical, conscientious and caring. I get to work in such a supportive and vibrant community. Together we keep working to do more, support more and raise awareness.
If you can support, you are part of this journey - one that continues.
Today, Saturday 24th August, I'm trying to raise £500 in the space of 12 hours, contributing in the final days towards our larger campaign.
If you haven't already, please head over to the Fundraising Page and give even just a little! It helps so much here!