Lighthouse Relief and the Continuing Struggle to Help Refugees

By Kristen Johnson

Lighthouse Relief hit my radar today because of the unique nature of its service to refugees as well as to the environment. It’s a really interesting concept and it seems to be one that is working.

This wonderful organization for refugee relief started in 2015 and they operate in Greece, Ritsona, Katsikas and Filippiada camps on the mainland and on North Eastern Lesvos. They work directly with people in refugee camps to provide desperately needed services such as child protection, gender-based violence services, breastfeeding areas for mothers and infants, construction services for the disabled and sanitation areas, and emergency needs such as shelters and first aid. Lighthouse Relief is a Swedish NGO and they function with volunteers from all over the world. Unfortunately, major conflicts in the Middle East have forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes with no future prospects and fear for their lives and that of their families, so relief organizations are so desperately needed in the region. (lighthouserelief.org)

In addition to providing relief services for local communities and for the massive numbers of migrants, Lighthouse Relief goes one step further by providing eco-relief in the form of up-cycling. It’s an interesting, if not somewhat disturbing, concept in that the organization cleans up the rubber dinghies that are left behind is Lesvos when refugees discard them on their way to safe passage in Europe and reuses them. By reusing these items, they are able to clean up the area in an environmentally safe way while providing additional funds for their relief efforts by reselling the up-cycled items in their new forms. The rubber dinghies are transformed into resale items in the form of wallets and bracelets. You can purchase these items to assist refugees here: http://www.ecoreliefupcycling.com/shop-online. It’s a really beautiful concept that is a win-win for people in need as well as for the environment.

Thank you to the people of Lighthouse Relief for the work that you do on behalf of people in need, local communities, and the environment. I am inspired by your commitment to help people in need while helping Earth at the same time.

Don’t just talk about being the change – be the change.

Galatians 6:2 (NRSV): Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill[a] the law of Christ.

Serve all with love.

Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io

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