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What happened to the tents?


Well the tents, the epic story of these precious tents, we fought so hard to raise the money for these tents and to get these tents from Dubai to the UK and eventually to Idomeni, 30 tents £12,000 worth of MSF standard humanitarian tents. I personally worked until 1am for weeks to secure these tents and get them to the UK, when they left for Idomeni packed into the back of a trailer and pick up truck I felt such relief.

Hoping that we could at least re-home 30 Idomeni families in decent, safe dry tents, I finally relaxed a little bit. Theo didn’t he had to drive them to Greece from the UK – it was impossible to bring the tents directly to Greece from Dubai – the import duty doubled the cost of the tents we just couldn’t stomach the money being spent in this way €18,000 on import duty….. We chose to bring them to the UK where, as a registered charitable fund, we paid no import duty or VAT and received them almost immediately. Due to free trade movements within the EU member states we could drive them to Greece with no further charges incurred and as we were preparing a new vehicle to take out anyway it all seemed to be a logical, if frustratingly slow, logistical solution.

So Theo set off and after a false start (full story here…), a ferry strike and a vehicle breakdown delivered them to Idomeni on Friday 13th May 2016, it was a pretty unlucky day for us. The vehicle Theo was driving broke down – Theo is a mechanically minded person and he had a lot of tools on board but the vehicle was really broken… he suspected the CAM belt had gone = engine destroyed. Stranded on the side of the mountain on the way to Idomeni… the next bad luck occurred.. the AA cover we had taken out seemed somehow not to have been activated – a mistake on their behalf, a typo in our names meant they couldn’t find us so we weren’t covered…

It was down to Theo to get the vehicle recovered and the trailer full of tents to Idomeni, he did it with the help of the Idomeni Tent Team and the original Luck of Birth Vehicle. The broken truck went straight to the garage, the damage was too extensive for Theo to fix but it was fixable which was lucky. The tents were stored in the trailer in Polikastro while Theo began to work out how best to execute our planned family areas in the Idomeni camp.

Within a few days we realised the project was unachievable.

Full story in our Newsletter 02/06/2016 – End of Idomeni

The tents and several others our team salvaged from the wreckage of Idomeni are now stored in our trailer in the new secure warehouse in Thessaloniki, we are waiting to use them, they will not be wasted.


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