Northern Lights Aid (NLA) is a Greek and Norwegian-based NGO operating in Kavala, Greece. Its focus is to improve the quality of life of refugees currently residing in the country.
NLA works in support of approximately 900 people living in enforced exile in the Kavala Perigiali Camp. The majority of residents hail from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with at least five other countries represented. Almost half of the camp population is under 18 years old, with over 80 children under the age of three. NLA also offers its services to several low-income families living in the wider Greek community.
The situation for refugees in Greece is characterised by lack of stability and an uncertain future. NLA works hard to offer stable and consistent support through our projects, which focus on education, integration and material needs. Located in a rented premises, a walking distance from the camp, they include: a Mother and Baby Program which provides essential hygiene items and a women-only space, a regular schedule of English Classes and the distribution of non-food items such as clothing and footwear. We also promote skill-sharing in our Community Garden and Workshop, and provide children’s activities, fitness classes, and integration projects.
The team is made up of both international volunteers and volunteers who reside in the camp. The organisation operates in close collaboration with local people, the authorities and international NGOs to build sustainable projects for those it serves.
In September 2015, the founders of Northern Lights Aid travelled to the island of Lesvos, Greece in response to the emerging humanitarian crisis. Quickly realising the desperate need for support on the island, the founders decided to make Lesvos their base of operation.
In January 2016, Northern Lights Aid was established as an official NGO. The organisation was initially created to provide emergency aid to first arrivals on the island. The team provided clothing, food, water, shelter and alerted medical groups, as well as the Hellenic Coast Guard, in the event of emergencies on land or at sea.
After several months working on Lesvos, with a changing political climate in Europe and the presence of more organisations on the island, it was decided that NLA was needed elsewhere. In March 2016 the northern border of Greece, became the new base for NLA. During this time, it supported Hara camp, near Idomeni and focussed on providing food and material support as well as providing shelter and activities for children.
When residents from unofficial refugee camps in Greece began to be transferred to government-run facilities in the summer of 2016, NLA was granted official approval by the Ministry of Migration Policy to operate within the Kavala Perigiali camp. In 2017 our operations moved outside the camp. The new premises enabled our projects to expand and our services became available to local low-income families as well. Our current activities are focussed on providing long-term material, educational and community-oriented projects to support the 900 residents of the Kavala Perigiali camp.
For a more detailed description of our work, please look at our Annual Reports from 2016, 2017 and 2018.2016, 2017 and 2018.
Northern Lights Aid strives to offer a compassionate and human approach to supporting and advocating for displaced people.
Northern Lights Aid focuses on offering long-term solutions to immediate problems.
To maintain accountability in its actions, Northern Lights Aid strives to provide transparency to its volunteers, donors and the public.
Northern Lights Aid believes that the motivation to volunteer should be oriented in the interest and welfare of others.
Northern Lights Aid pledges to provide equal opportunities to all, by treating them with fairness, impartiality and without discrimination.
Northern Lights Aid is the sum of the experiences and skills of its volunteers, beneficiaries, and partners.
The mission of Northern Lights Aid is to provide material support, educational and recreational activities to displaced people and others in need, as well as promoting social inclusion and solidarity within the community.