The initiative developed out of a network of workers, volunteers and residents inside the Malakasa refugee camp, who are organising amongst themselves so as to go beyond what their jobs perscribe in order to tackle the urgent needs of the residents of the camp, to raise pubilc awareness, combat social exclusion, and to find ways to integrate into the life of the city through cultural and educational projects.
Malakasa camp is one of the many camps recently set up in the country to house the hundreds of thousands of displaced people fleeing war-torn countries. Guarded by soldiers, the camp is located roughly 25 miles north of Athens. It has the capacity to house a mere 1,000 people, most of whom are of Afghan citizenship. Yet according to UNHCR data released on 3 April, 2016, the camp's current capacity has been exceeded. This has resulted in worsening living conditions, tents being over-occupied with over 10 people - many without blankets or sleeping bags. Healthcare is limited and there has been an urgent plea for doctors, including women's health specialists and midwives. In a report on the European Union's emergency relocation scheme, which aims to transfer refugees from the Mediterranean frontline to the rest of the EU, figures showed that only 563 asylum seekers had been relocated since it set the 20,000 target – a relocation quota which many EU states have virtually ignored. Since the closure of the Balkan route to Germany, there are now some 46,000 refugees stranded in Greece, waiting for their asylum claims to be processed.