ABOUT US

"We came together because it was simply the right thing to do…in a world full of darkness, we are showing that humanity can prevail. Our biggest mission is not only to nurture bodies but also to nurture souls. Better Days is fueled by the incredible power of open hearts and minds."

Our Story

Together for Better Days is a Swiss-registered non-governmental organisation formally founded by Elena Moustaka and Anrika Velychko in Zurich in January 2015 in response to the influx of refugees on Lesvos, Greece. Shortly thereafter, we established Better Days Greece, our Greek entity. Together we are known as ‘Better Days’. Our first project was the Olive Grove, an unofficial camp adjacent to Moria Camp to support the needs of thousands of people passing through Lesvos. During its first six months of operation, Better Days and its partners provided aid (medical, food, shelter, and non-food items) to approximately 70,000 people.

Our Story

Over the Years

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2015

Founded

Better Days was founded to provide emergency aid to refugees sleeping rough in sub zero conditions.

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Nov 2015 - Apr 2016

Olive Grove Camp

The Olive Grove was an informal camp adjacent to the Moria hotspot providing medical care, food, NFI distribution, shelter and information.

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Jun 2016 - Dec 2016

Elpida Home

Elpida home was an alternate model for accommodation in a warehouse context established after the evacuation of Eidomini.  

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Aug 2017 - Active

Gekko Kids

School for unaccompanied and separated children providing alternate models of education through Social Emotional learning methodologies in a trauma aware environment.

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Sep 2017 - Active

EcoHub

Permaculture garden in a refugee community centre.

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Mar 2018 - Mar 2019

Tapuat

Tapuat is a child and family support hub providing non formal education for children and protection and educational activities for mothers.

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Feb 2019 - Active

Socrates

Socrates Sports and Development provides football to UASC with a dedicated socio-emotional learning focus.

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Jun 2019 - Active

Gekko X

Gekko X provides science, technology and arts programming to UASC including Theatre, Photography, Robotics and 3D printing.

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Dec 2019 - Active

Themida / UASC Moria

Themida provides legal aid to UASC applying for family reunification. The program involves identification, locating and monitoring of UASC living outside the formal camp and NFI distribution.

Our Projects

Better Days runs a wide variety of projects focused on responding to the needs of displaced populations. Those we help are at the heart of everything we do.

Our Philosophy

We embrace participatory practices, supporting and collaborating with local actors, and fostering agency among the communities we support. Underlying everything we do is the simple belief that everyone, everywhere, deserves to be treated with dignity and humanity.

Understand. Learn. Support.

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Our Team

Elena Moustaka

Elena Moustaka

Managing Director & Co-founder

Andrew Foley

Andrew Foley

Director - Co-Founder

Dan Teuma

Dan Teuma

Emergency Response & Programming Director

Romane Bernet

Romane Bernet

Program Coordinator

Anna Taxeidi

Anna Taxeidi

Complaince Officer

Daniel Larios

Daniel Larios

Outreach & Communications Coordinator

Maro Galanou

Maro Galanou

Chief Financial Officer

Nasir Haidary

Nasir Haidary

Cultural Mediator & IT Officer

Kleopatra Nikiforou

Kleopatra Nikiforou

Liaison / Outreach Officer

Olga Saliampoukou

Olga Saliampoukou

Photographer

Elena Panagiotopoulou

Elena Panagiotopoulou

Senior Protection Officer / Psychologist

Magda Veloutsou

Magda Veloutsou

Procurement Officer

In the News

FORBES

Frey Lindsay |

In Moria Detention Center Refugees Fear The ‘Catastrophe’ Of A Coronavirus Outbreak

The possible impact of an outbreak of COVID 19 in Moria with words from our Emergency Response Director, Dan Teuma, and one of our community volunteers, Reza.

VOGUE

LIAM FREEMAN |

A Forgotten Crisis: Inside The ‘Worst Refugee Camp On Earth’ During The Pandemic, And How You Can Help

When a tarpaulin is your only shelter and you share a tap with 1,300 other people, protecting yourself against coronavirus becomes impossible. Award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario and NGO employees share their insights from working with refugees and shed light on what you can do to help. One of those is Elena Moustaka, Better Days co-founder. 

Le Figaro

Alexia Kefalas |

Lesbos: health time bomb among migrants

An article from “Le Figaro” explaining the current situation in Moria Refugee Camp and the possible impact of an outbreak of COVID 19 with some words from our Development Director, Andrew Foley.

The New Humanitarian

Joel Hernández | 17 February 2020

Lesvos: Empower both islanders and asylum seekers to defuse tensions

If all violence is tragic, this violence proved tragically self-defeating.

Pipe Dream

Amy Donovan | 3 March 2019

TEDxBinghamtonUniversity 2019: Andrew Foley

If all violence is tragic, this violence proved tragically self-defeating.

The Guardian

Helena Smith | 22 December 2017

‘Welcome to prison’: winter hits in one of Greece’s worst refugee camps

Patience is running out on Lesbos, where thousands live in the packed Moria camp, but the government is finally taking action

Al Jazeera

Madeleine Speed | 15 February 2020

Aid workers face growing hostility on Lesbos

Violence and harassment towards aid workers on Lesbos have NGOs concerned for the safety of their staff.

RTE News

Dimitri O’Donnell | 14 March 2019

Lesbos school: ‘They’re very normal kids with very traumatic stories’