On the initiative of Raquel Herzog and after one and a half year of preparation, the «umbrella organization for voluntary humanitarian aid Switzerland – Dahumas» was founded by 15 Swiss aid organizations in March 2018. First and foremost, the umbrella organization is a platform to share resources and creating synergies.

Raquel Herzog shares the Presidium of Dahumas with Michael Grossenbacher.

IRC Logo, Collaboration with SAO

SAO and IRC’s collaboration

The purpose of the partnership between SAO and IRC includes but is not limited to provision of space by SAO in Bashira center for IRC to conduct group counselling sessions with female refugees. IRC will offer to SAO volunteers mini trainings on Mental Health that are described below.

IRC’s Response in Greece

IRC has been providing humanitarian aid to arrivals in Lesvos since 2015. As of 15th February 2018, IRC started implementing a new Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) program that aims to offer its services to refugees residing in Moria. In addition to individual counselling sessions, IRC's program aims to offer group counselling sessions, including specific sessions for its female clients that focus on a number of different issues that concern them, in a safe setting.

Oxfam Intenational

SAO and Oxfam’s collaboration

SAO Association has a cooperation agreement with Oxfam in Greece on establishing a community based protection structure for women, using existing and tested Oxfam modules such as the focal points system or the protection peer group. Modules are adapted to the context of Lesvos, based on feedback and participation of the women in the affected community. The community based protection structure aims at increasing women’s access to information and services, helping them voice their needs and ideas with relevant stakeholders, and empowering them to find collective solutions for the different threats they might be facing.

Oxfam in Greece is also providing capacity building to SAO on gender based violence, gender and community based protection, through organized trainings and sharing of resources and materials developed by Oxfam.

Oxfam’s Response in Greece

Oxfam started working in Greece in October 2015 and now has programmes on Lesvos Island and the Epirus region of north-west Greece. Oxfam seeks to ensure that migrants, including refugees, are safe, able to meaningfully access essential services, that they understand their rights, have access to free legal aid, and fair and efficient asylum procedures.

Oxfam is now running a stand-alone protection programme on Lesvos that provides free legal assistance to migrants and asylum seekers at different asylum stages in addition to civil and criminal cases, through partnerships. Oxfam is also establishing a community based protection approach with men and women in Lesvos, enabling information and increased access to services through training a network of focal points in the community. This model aims at increasing asylum seekers’ self-protection, participation, and resilience.

An MSF nurse attending a girl in Lesvos, Greece. ©Jodi Hilton
As the number of people arriving on the islands nearly quadrupled between April and June 2017, and as the capacity of actors responsible for providing medical care and identifying vulnerable people halved, the situation for vulnerable people on Lesvos went from bad to worse: the MSF medical teams treats asylum seeking humans on Lesvos and assigns women in need to SAO for further non-medical care and assistance.

doctors without borders



Of course, we are in close collaboration with all organizations on Lesbos. These are mainly:

Pikpa & Mosaik, Lesvos Solidarity –

Dirty girls – dirtygirlslesvos facebook

In Switzerland, we work hand in hand with:

the voice of thousands TVOT –


be aware and share BAAS –

stand up for refugees SUFR –

one love – onelove facebook

refugee supply REFY –

...and many more.

Lesvos Women Network


Based on the rare facilities, health services and safe zones for women on Lesvos, we initiated this group to connect women working on Lesvos with women specific issues. The goal is to raise efficiency, ask questions, connect and learn about who of us is doing what so we provide support to women stuck here.

We also would love to see a new (female, peaceful...) spirit of interaction between organizations and independent volunteers, strictly focused on the goal of supporting displaced women and keeping personal issues fully out. 

we, SAO Association, see ourselves only as the initiators and are happy if more organizations will join us.

Lesvos Women Network

Projekt noná

The noná project by Roberta Zingg and Beatrice Favero offers vulnerable women and their families the opportunity to live independently and in dignity. Noná takes them from refugee camps, provides them with flats and pays for their living costs. Noná also supports them in the case of medical questions and provides them with advice and assistance. Through sponsors who make a monthly contribution, noná is a sustainable and long-term support. «noná» is the Greek term for «godmother».


For further information, please contact «noná» here