Our first involvement as individuals with the refugee crisis came on the beaches of Lesvos helping people out of boats and on to the land. We then gained further experience working in emergency relief conditions helping provide shelter in Moria, the main reception centre on the island. As the situation developed and changed, so did our role. After Moria was turned into a detention centre we moved to Ritsona Refugee Camp, one hour north of Athens, where the response had entered into the early recovery stage.
Working through each phase of the unfolding crisis has allowed us to build up our awareness of the wider migrant situation in the Eastern Mediterranean: exactly where the most pressing needs lie, which are being provided for, and what responses are most effective. We have turned the focus of all our knowledge, experience and determination towards the people who are most at need.
Chris came to Greece towards the end of 2015 to help with the refugee crisis. He gained experience working with I AM YOU and Danish Refugee Council where he headed the shelter allocation team in Moria Reception Centre. Before co-founding The Timber Project he programme managed the early recovery phase at Ritsona refugee camp, helping to set up a school, a library, an art space, and a carpentry workshop. He has since been involved in the design and construction of numerous projects across northern Greece and Serbia with The Timber Project. Chris’ background is in Landscape Architecture and site planning.
Erin gained experience working in emergency response as a member of the team working on the south coast of Lesvos. She then focused her attention on Ritsona Refugee Camp where, as a member of I AM YOU, formed I AM YOUth children's activities within the camp. From there she developed onto becoming Expressive Arts Officer where she built a library, formed a timber workshop and a music tent. Erin has a background in prop making for film and TV.
Eddie has gained years of experience working as a teacher in developing countries. He came to Greece to teach both children and adult refugees who have been left with no access to formal education. He has since played a key role in setting up the school curriculum at Ritsona Refugee Camp. Moving successfully through different stages of development, the school has shown steadily increasing levels of attendance and community engagement and has subsequently secured significant funding from Mercy Corps.
Katrin has a background in nursing and midwifery and first heard about the refugee crisis in Greece whilst volunteering in Somalia. She then gained experience working in emergency response on the shores of Lesvos. As the need in Greece shifted, Katrin moved to Ritsona and Oinofyta Refugee Camp where she became team leader for I AM YOUth children's activities. Katrin also worked alongside other volunteers to set up the Women's Space in Ritsona, paying particular attention to the pregnant women during their antenatal and postnatal period.
In December 2015, Kirsty worked on the southern shores of Lesvos helping to bring in boats and distributing supplies to Moria Camp. On returning home to the UK her heart remained with the people she had met and she decided to return to Greece. She joined I AM YOU to work in Oinofyta and Ritsona Refugee Camp and became Project Manager for their I AM YOUth programme, which involved organising daily creative educational play activities for children aged 3-12. Kirsty's background is in Landscape Architecture and site planning.
Anas joined The Timber Project in November of 2016 as part of our apprenticeship scheme. He comes from Damascus in Syria and has been living in Greece for the past 9 months. Anas spent 5 years working on construction sites and so his knowledge and experience sometimes makes us feel like we are the apprentices! Anas worked as part of The Timber Project team for 5 months before being relocated to France. While we all greatly miss his company and tireless work ethic, we're so happy for him and can't wait to visit him!