A No Deal exit at Katsikas has been avoided

The regional government has reversed its decision to kick us off Katsikas camp! Now we are working hard to ensure service continues uninterrupted.

Pretty much the only news in the UK right now is the UK parliament’s current struggle to agree on its future relationship with Europe. It has not been going well. There is every chance that Britain could crash out of the EU with No Deal on 29 March. Most agree that would lead to huge disruption.

In our discussions with the local government at Ioannina, we consistently argued that our sudden exit from Katsikas would harm the welfare of the residents. They were adamant that they wanted their building back immediately so we started to make arrangements to leave – by weird coincidence – also on 29 March.

We continued to argue for a longer transition period to minimise the disruption. But it was the arguments from our local suppliers that changed minds.

The amazing Oikonomou family supplies us with nappies/ diapers and sanitary pads for every child and woman who needs them. We distribute their economical and high quality products at Katsikas, LM Village and Doliana camps to about 300 children and 700 women. We can do that thanks to the support of our friends at Carry the Future.

Our other key supplier – Nikos Greengrocer – provides all the fresh fruit and vegetables we supply through our mini-market. They are a fantastic family-run grocer who delivers top quality produce to our door. We spend €1,200 every week there and as a result of our business they have invested in a new van, new suppliers, and a part time employee.

We’ve always tried to support the local economy. We get good prices and great quality and it helps to share the costs of support. It also gave us strong allies. As any NGO knows, you have to have strong relationships with other organisations. And these two family firms kept making the argument that it was not just the refugees that would suffer.

We will be meeting with the head of the local government before the end of March to finalise the details but in the meantime we need volunteers. We have plenty of space from mid April. You can find out more and start the process here. Join us to deliver some aid with dignity – you will not regret it.

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