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Thermaikos, Greece. Refugees Welcome Kit

This topic provides information and discussion regarding
implementation of “Refugee Welcome Kit” in Greece and beyond, by the local OpenTech community in Thermaikos near Thessaloniki.

All individuals and small groups are invited to contribute and support this project on an informal basis. You are also encouraged to visit us on the spot and meet the people who are actual boots-on-the-ground.

This topic is an offspring of more general discussion about possible involvement of RH community in creation of self-organized economy in Thermaikos region. See here for the broad picture: Greece - Groundwork for Freedom: Discussion

For the current context of Greece as a transit area for the long-term migration stream, see Greece - Groundwork for Freedom: Discussion

The “Refugees Welcome” kit ( is intended to be a minimal personal (group upgrades possible) set of equipment (utensils and information/orientation resources), being handed to migrants when they enter the area. It will be gradually developed, according to the following assumptions:
– people will travel by foot or other means of transport between friendly rest places (stage camps), only spending nights outdoors in case of emergency.
– the overall cost of the kit will vary between 20 and 50 Euro, most of items being reparable and reusable several times, the rest recyclable and biodegradable.
– the overall weight of the kit cannot exceed 10 kG, which is half of a load an average, healthy backpacker should carry. There will be a checklist attached, showing what can possibly be left safely, if one need to decrease the load.
– as many items as possible should be manufactured or at least purchased
locally in the transit region (in our case: in Northern Greece or just in Greece).
– all items should be marked in a specific and hard to remove way, to lessen the chance of them being stolen or sold.
– every version of the kit will be developed with a close cooperation with migrants and volunteers supporting them on the ground. There is a whole lot of knoledge there, to be absorbed before we add something new.
– usability of items should also lower cost and work needed along the road (example: personal water filter means less bottled water needed during the trip)

To make it possible, we need a business model. Here is an initial roadmap towards sustained manufacturing and distribution process.
– Mark I prototype will be made according to the initial research among stakeholders.
– It will be tested and presented in an online pitch to some seed donors, aiming at fundraising enough money to produce first series.
– If the feedback from the users grows positive, we shall start production, according to the funding obtained. Funding sources can be: external donors (single or crowdfunded), local volunteers, refugees themselves.

We decided to start from two specific products, which we are researching now:

– A multi-poncho/tarp.
2x3 m lightweight tarpauline, one side black, one side silver. Eyelets and velcro along the edge, sized to make: a poncho, a half-tent, a hammock, a bathtube, a sleeping bag, a stretcher. Can be combined into bigger tents. Lanyards attached, picture user guide attached.

– Multiuse Body warmer

We are at the stage of initial design and budgeting, more details soon.

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