Site Management Support
ERCIsms provides a secure, supportive environment for displaced populations. This includes the coordination of Elpida, a residence for newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers. ERCI’s role at Elpida has expanded from primary education to include work on service provisions such as food distribution, kitchen management, internal infrastructure, clothes and hygiene, systems building, volunteer coordination, and more.
Since December of 2016, ERCI has worked within Elpida Home, a best practices refugee accomodation facility on the outskirts of Thessaloniki in Northern Greece. Elpida Home demonstrates a way to house refugees with dignity, ensuring volunteers and residents work together to provide solutions that maintain the agency of residents while being effective and sustainable. This is because ERCIsms aspires to high standards that can be replicated at other camps. Elpida currently houses approximately 170 residents from 33 families, with plans to expand. Residents are drawn from high on the vulnerability list and therefore include many women, children, and populations with particular levels of need.
ERCI is the lead on all volunteer recruitment, management, and support. This includes travel and housing assistance for volunteers when necessary. Our volunteers go through orientation and protection training so they are prepared, practically and emotionally, for their work. We also facilitate communication among the volunteers and other organizations working on site.
Food and Kitchen
Recently, ERCI took on the role of food management at Elpida. This includes receiving food deliveries and distributing daily groceries so residents can cook their own nutritious meals for their families. Volunteers have also been involved in ensuring that the groceries distributed fit the residents’ need and that resident input has sway over the food provided, allowing greater agency for residents. Volunteers also supervise the kitchen and manage the systems and information records involved in kitchen and food distribution.
ERCI has contributed to infrastructure maintenance and development. Some of the recent projects carried out by the ERCI volunteer team include the installation of a floor drain in the dishwahing area, installation of metal sinks, and the setup of washing machines for resident use! Volunteers have also painted murals, installed electric wiring, built shelving and run pipes.
Clothes and Distribution
Recently, Elpida Home and ERCI worked together to develop a new distribution system for NFIs and clothes that allows for greater choice and a sense of normalcy for our residents. Families choose toiletries and clothes from a ‘shop’ in the facility, staffed by ERCI volunteers. Volunteers sort and stock clothes and toiletry items, ensure that residents can find what they need, and check out items.