We’ve all been shocked and saddened to see the devastation caused by the wildfires, which tragically spread so quickly in Athens this week. Our thoughts are with those affected and as the country continue 3 days of national mourning, many people in both Greece and abroad, are doing all they can to help. Locals are helping in the disaster relief efforts, the diaspora are sending their support via donations and it’s been touching to see how Reload Greece’s partners and alumni start-ups are taking action and driving their own initiatives on the ground.
We spoke to several of our partners and start-ups to find out how they are assisting in the crisis and how our community can help in their efforts.
Our long-standing partner Desmos, who support charitable organisations in Greece, are working to immediately reach those affected. They have launched a crowd-funding appeal to help source and distribute supplies of food, clothes, medicines, personal hygiene etc. All donations will be used to support people who have been affected by the wildfires. Click here if you would like to support their appeal.
RG Challenge16 start-up Owiwi opened up their office in central Athens to collect essential goods such as food, medicine, medical gauzes etc. for people in need and from just one social media post, the response they received was overwhelming. Athina and Ilias from Owiwi mentioned they are still collecting painkillers and bedsheets and they need help in transporting these goods to either Rafina port, which is a major critical gathering point of all of these emergency goods gathered by NGOs, companies etc, or to the Cultural Centre of Nea Makri, which was severely hit by the fires. The start-up has also collaborated with an NGO named Dog’s Voice to support any stray or lost animals to cover their needs as well.
Finabyss, who participated in RG Challenge18, are an escrow platform that facilitates payments made by large corporations towards social and other purposes in a fully transparent manner. They have used their expertise to create a campaign to raise money to help people in their home country affected by the wildfire. They will use funds to provide furniture, house appliances and other types of capital that is needed in the region.
Many appeals have been set up to help drive donations and tens of crowdfunding appeals are also helping to gain funds for those in need. One of our volunteers, Stefania Capsali, has regularly volunteered at Reload Greece events over the last few years. She collected £2,000 from friends and family in less than 24 hours to raise funds to help families whose homes were severely damaged by the wildfire.
It’s inspiring to see so many people helping out when disaster strikes their local community. Many small acts of kindness and people coming together to help will have a great impact on the emergency relief effort.
These positive responses from the Reload Greece community strongly reflect the ethos of entrepreneurship – taking the initiative, being passionate and creative, working effectively in a team and knowing how to leverage your skills and contacts are all core traits of being a successful entrepreneur – and they can help in times of disaster too.