Many of you will have heard us talking about our Baby Box project – which has been running since 2018. Working initially within the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, and later within the new “transitional” camp, RIC Lesvos, the Starfish team work to support vulnerable mothers and new-born babies through a number of different initiatives. One such project is the distribution of boxes to families who have a 0-3-month-old baby. Find out more about the project below:
Why do we distribute baby boxes?
The RIC Lesvos camp currently accommodates around 7,500 people, and recent figures from UNHCR estimate that a total of 120 women in the camp are currently pregnant. Residents within the camp stay in tents where the challenges include changes in weather (high winds, heavy rain, cold temperatures), hygiene deficiency, insecurity, and lack of space; and therefore, the situation for new-born babies within RIC Lesvos is especially worrying. Additionally, due to current COVID regulations, freedom for residents to exit the camp has been restricted further. This means that the ability to travel into the main town of Mytilene to buy supplies for their new-born babies has become even more difficult.
What is in the box?
The boxes contain items such sleeping bags, warm clothing for infants, underwear for the mothers, nappies, hygiene products for baby and mother, toys, and blankets. When the items within the baby boxes are all bought new, it costs Starfish around €80 per box. The baby boxes are focused on helping relieve part of the stress felt by new mothers within the camp.
How many are given out?
Currently, roughly 6 baby boxes are given out per week. The Starfish team prepare the boxes within our OpenSpace building and then we drop them off to EuroRelief, another NGO working within the camp. When a resident gives birth, they register with EuroRelief who give them a supply of nappies to support them; when this happens, the families are also given one of our baby boxes.
After the Moria Fire in September 2020, we gave out 82 boxes in one week as we attempted to support the mothers and families who had lost all of their belongings in the fire.
Thank you for supporting our baby box distribution
We have had such kind contributions towards our Baby Box project- individuals, organisations, and whole towns and cities have fundraised money or collected items for us to include within our boxes. These contributions have allowed us to continue donating boxes to vulnerable families; between October-December 2020, 120 boxes were distributed within the RIC Lesvos camp.
If you would like to donate to our projects on the ground, including the baby boxes, you can do so here: