Our Project

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Throughout its history, Lesvos has been a crossing point between continental Europe and Anatolia, which has given the island a rich cultural tradition. 

 

In recent years, however, and mostly after 2015, Lesvos became globally known for the unprecedented refugee crisis that it faced due to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Thanks to its proximity to the Turkish coast, nearly 850,000 refugees, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, have crossed from Lesvos in their quest to reach Europe, in search of a better and safer life. 

 

An island of about 85,000 inhabitants was caught off guard by such an unprecedented crisis. Despite efforts at various levels, both the local population and refugees were left to their own destiny in many cases. 

 

Six years after the outbreak of the crisis, Lesvos is still home to thousands of asylum seekers, and there are still new arrivals on the island, although numbers have fallen sharply compared to 2015-2016. The living conditions of asylum seekers detained at a local camp are precarious and their future is still uncertain. While the recent developments in Afghanistan might result in another wave of refugees to the island.

 

Millions of European citizens have thus learned Lesvos for unfortunate reasons: as a meeting place for drama and human suffering. While, in fact, Lesvos is a place that has much more to offer to the world.

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The island of Lesvos is a gem in the Aegean Sea adorned with everything one can ask for from Mother Earth. Nevertheless, most of you did not come to know Lesvos because of its natural beauties or local products. The world came to know the island with the refugee crisis, which has overshadowed all the beauties of the island. Even the heroic efforts of the locals in 2015 to save and help refugees have been long forgotten, while the island began to be more widely known with this ongoing tragedy. The fact that the crisis persists after six years has had a huge impact both on the asylum seekers who got stuck on the island and also on the locals who had been hit by the crisis in all aspects.

 

The economy was already in dire strait due to the financial crisis in Greece since 2010 and the island had just begun to recover when it was hit by the refugee crisis. Nevertheless, the situation worsened even further because of the pandemic since 2020, both for the refugees and the local community, whose livelihood depends mostly on the production of local products and tourism. Unfortunately, both the conditions of the refugees all around Greece and the vulnerable groups in the local societies deteriorated significantly throughout the pandemic. 

 

Therefore, we came up with a project to help Lesvos overcome this multi-layered identity crisis; our aim is to re-introduce our beautiful island to the world as an outgoing and confident producer and exporter of sustainable gastronomic culture and, at the same time, to assist refugees and locals in need. One foot of the project is to introduce the exquisite products of local gastronomy and spirits of Lesvos to the European and international community, while the other is to support the causes that provide help to refugees or to vulnerable members of the society. 

 

As such, we aim to boost the visibility and development of the most creative local producers as well as the visibility of the causes supporting refugees and the local society. This, we believe, is the only way to help the island to recover and flourish while enhancing cohesion and solidarity with all the vulnerable people.