- “Europe’s First Responders: The Heroes of Lesvos, Greece” video sheds light on refugee crisis in Lesvos and impact of Afya’s shipments of medical supplies, hospital equipment, and humanitarian provisions – view here: https://youtu.be/2eHm_XymvZs
- Three 40-foot containers will be loaded and shipped from Afya’s Yonkers warehouse this month – starting on March 1 – as part of an international effort to help equip Greece’s medical providers with supplies and equipment needed to deliver care for refugees and locals alike
- Greek religious, business and political leaders unite around Project Spora, lending support to Afya’s efforts to bolster healthcare services in Lesvos and Athens, Greece
NEW YORK (March 1, 2016) – The Afya Foundation today launched “Project Spora,” a humanitarian relief effort to help medical professionals and aid workers in Greece provide care to Greek citizens and thousands of refugees who continue to come from Syria, in particular to the island of Lesvos. Afya has collected and is shipping much-needed medical supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions to Lesvos throughout March, with plans for additional shipments in 2016.
“We founded Afya because we could no longer be bystanders when we knew that getting needed medical supplies and support to areas in crisis was a practical – and powerfully impactful – way to help,” said Danielle Butin, M.P.H., O.T. R., Founder and Executive Director of the Afya Foundation.
“The Syrian refugee crisis influx in Greece is one such crisis – and as with many of these globally transformative events, we’ve successfully rallied support and developed a strong coalition of community-minded professionals, religious leaders, businesses, and individuals to get medical teams the equipment and support they need to aid those most in need in Lesvos.”
Afya’s initial shipment of medical supplies to Lesvos will support Mytilini Hospital, the only hospital on Lesvos, and the Hellenic Coast Guard Search and Rescue Boats. Butin and her team worked with members of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Salas Group in Athens to meet with medical professionals in Lesvos to assess the most critical health care needs. The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR) financially supported the March shipments, which include defibrillators for rescue boats, even medical gloves for health care workers at Mytilini and other medical centers.
The word “spora” means “sowing of seed” in Ancient Greek and speaks to the collaborative approach to Afya’s work in Greece. It also recognizes the life-altering potential of a movement that starts small and grows with care and commitment.
“By helping bolster the Greek health care infrastructure and providing needed support to medical professionals on the island of Lesvos, Afya’s ‘Project Spora’ is sowing the seeds of hope for countless refugees and selfless Greek humanitarians who welcome them to their shores,” said Nikos Salapataras, Chief Executive Officer at Salas Group.
As part of Project Spora, The Afya Foundation created a video —Europe’s First Responders: The Heroes of Lesvos, Greece — to highlight the plight of refugees entering Europe and the humanitarian efforts on the island of Lesvos. This 5-minute video contains moving footage of refugees landing on Lesvos, being aided by residents of the island and getting needed food, clothing, and medical attention. Refugees, medical professionals, and local residents share their stories of struggle and triumph in the face of this humanitarian tragedy. This video, which was created by Q36 Creative, can be viewed at www.afyafoundation.org/spora and https://youtu.be/2eHm_XymvZs.
“While a lot of attention has been paid to the plight of the Syrian refugees and the social, financial and political impact this is having on all of Europe, the quiet island of Lesvos has accepted more than 500,000 refugees with compassion and selflessness,” said Butin. “And they need our help to continue those life-saving efforts.”
If you are interested in supporting “Project Spora” and enabling medical professionals in Greece to care for the refugees there, go to www.afyafoundation.org/spora. One 40-foot container holds enough medical supplies to provide care to thousands of refugees and support the Greek people who are helping them.
ABOUT AFYA FOUNDATION
The Afya Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of individuals throughout the world who suffer needlessly due to a lack of access to basic medical supplies and equipment. Afya collects surplus medic al supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions from health care facilities, businesses and private donors to support both on-going and disaster-related initiatives. Since its founding in 2008, Afya has recovered and shipped more than six million pounds of donated supplies to more than 60 countries. The organization recognized by the Greater New York Hospital Association, Eli Lilly, United Nations and is a Gold Level Participant with GuideStar. For more information on the Afya Foundation, go to www.afyafoundation.org.
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