Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp

by Starfish Foundation
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp
Support a Library To Empower Refugees in Camp

The library continues to expand and reach more people than ever! The community schools within the camp are one of the fundamental parts that ensure educational needs of refugee children, youth and adults are met. We are happy to announce that Starfish has also begun supporting Star School, another established community school, that will be using our books to teach English inside Mavrovouni camp.  

This school will select 30 different books each month for students to read in class. Organisational support for the initiatives of camp residents is essential  to be recognised and have the resources to improve and move forward. Supporting these kinds of camp projects is something we are very proud of!

In addition, we recently witnessed another beautiful story during the day to day running of our Library project. One week ago, a lovely resident family that were passing through our library stand inside the camp donated a selection of  books and games for us. They told us that they were leaving the camp, they did not want to throw these amazing books away and wanted other refugees to benefit from them. We were really surprised and grateful for their generosity. Take a look at the photo below of two of the donated books, atlas of animals and food. 

Thank you for making these stories possible! With your support we are able to have a wide variety of books that allow us to cover the different educational needs of the camp community and contribute to the learning opportunities of many individuals. Your contributions mean that we can reach more people inside the camp with books, educational materials and games.

Thank you so much!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Just last week a Starfish community volunteer made a donation of 26 books to the library. He had collected the books that belonged to his neighbours inside the camp and his family, in order to donate them to the library so they could be used by others.  "I am doing this donation to make these books useful" were his words when he gave them to us.

It is because of him, people like you and many more beautiful stories that keep happening with this project that is helping us to being able to continue and improve it.

During the “LittlebyLittle” campaign on GlobalGiving fundraising, our community of supporters surprised us again. It has been a huge success and we are eternally grateful for the support we have received; your donations have been matched!  Which doubled the amount donated. Thank you very much!

These contributions will help us improve the conditions of the library in the camp and continue to help our community volunteers in the library. The support will also go towards buying more of the books that are being requested by the camp residents that we don't have at the moment. E.g. dictionaries, Farsi and Somali books. And very importantly this helps us to maintain and improve our reading hour’s project!

Thank you very much from all the Starfish team from Lesvos.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

As an extension of our library project we recently started “reading hours” with children residing in the RIC Lesvos camp.

These storytelling sessions happen twice a week, and under the shade of our gazebo, children can switch off for a moment and listen to someone read tales and story books in their own language, or they can use the time to simply relax on the cushions provided. 

This week, the sessions have been held in Farsi and French, and some of the resident volunteers who work on our #SafeHands project kindly read aloud to everyone; Elnaz, a wonderful volunteer who works at Station 3 of our #SafeHands project read “The Man and the Fox” to the Farsi speaking children, who all started doing impersonations of the animals featured in the book. It has been brilliant to see each child interacting with the books: making up their own stories, reading along, and reenacting different parts of the tales with their friends.

Additionally, each session has seen new faces appear, with children telling their friends about it or bringing family members along to join in the fun. If you, or someone you know residing in the RIC Lesvos camp, are interested in bringing their children along, the reading hours happen on Tuesday and Thursday each week, starting at 3.00PM. 

With the increased demand for books, we are currently looking to receive Somali books for children and adults, more Farsi books for adults, and German language learning books. If you, or someone you know, can support with this- we would be grateful to discuss it further with you. You can reach us via email at

As always, we extended a sincere thank you to you all for following along with our library on Lesvos. The support we receive from you, alongside different organisations and partners makes it all possible. Thank you.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

After a mini sanitiser spill in our library box, our volunteers created a way to dry AND read the books at the same time (pictured). We loved it.

We wanted to reach out as, on Wednesday, we noted that donations to our library were being matched for a short period of time via the GlobalGiving July Bonus Day campaign. Your response was as generous as ever.

Your contributions will go towards buying new books, they will be used to purchase items such as phone cards and food vouchers for the resident volunteers who work at our library, and they will ensure that the project continues in the months to come.

In light of this, we wanted to send a big, big thank you to you all for your support: your contributions will mean that we can reach more people on Lesvos with books, educational materials and games.

Thank you, thank you from all of the Starfish team on Lesvos.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook


Let us introduce you to some of our library team working in the RIC Lesvos camp: meet Habib, Mega, Sajad, and Arnold (pictured above).

The smooth running of our library project within the camp would not be possible without the support of our team of resident volunteers. Managing the library station each weekday, they ensure that access to books and learning materials are available to those living in the camp, and are on hand to help people register onto the library system, process library cards, and hand out book orders. 

With their support we have been able to register nearly 400 people onto our library system so far and give out 1275 books in the camp. The items being checked out range from novels, language learning books, poetry collections, DIY based books and everything in between. 

As we mentioned in our last report, the demand for Farsi (Persian) - English books remains high. The latest figures from UNHCR note that 70% of the camp’s population are from Afghanistan, and therefore, Farsi is one of the most widely spoken languages within RIC Lesvos. Due to this, we placed an order for 150 additional Farsi books.

As always, we send a massive thank you for your ongoing support, and if you all could share this project with friends and family to spread awareness of our library project on Lesvos, we would be incredibly grateful.

We will be in touch again soon with more updates! 

The Starfish team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Starfish Foundation

Location: Mytilene, Lesvos - Greece
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @starfishlesvos
Project Leader:
Melinda McRostie
Mytilene, Lesvos Greece
$16,809 raised of $20,000 goal
210 donations
$3,191 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Starfish Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.