"We are a family": refugees, locals and volunteers create friendly and active communities in Lesbos

Faces of Kindness - Welcoming Refugees in Lesbos, Greece

For Lena, a Greek native, the most important thing is to bring people together. That’s why she has opened "Nan" with three other local women, a restaurant on the Greek island of Lesbos. "Nan" is not only a restaurant, but it is also a place where local Greeks and people from other places meet, cook together, share ideas for recipes, and prove that they can create something special with each other.

“Nan” is not only a restaurant, but also a place where local Greeks and people from other places meet, cook together, share ideas for recipes, and prove that they can create something special with each other. “We are one family,” says Abdul, one of the chefs from Pakistan.

Lena’s initiative is one of the many examples of Greek entrepreneurs in Lesbos, who - together with volunteers from all over Europe and with refugees - create and sustain a friendly, active and kind community. A community, which is a mosaic of diverse groups and individuals who work, learn and exchange, while getting to know and appreciate one another.

Oxfam's work in Lesbos

We started our operations in Greece in October 2015 as the humanitarian situation for people arriving irregularly from Turkey rapidly worsened. Oxfam is now running a stand-alone protection program on Lesbos that provides free legal assistance to migrants and asylum seekers at different asylum stages, in addition to civil and criminal cases, through partners. Oxfam is also establishing a community-based protection approach with men and women in Lesbos, enabling information and increased access to services through training a network of focal points in the community.