We are currently finishing up our winter distribution and have faced many challenges while carrying this out. As with other countries, the rules and regulations concerning Coronavirus keep changing here in Greece. Whilst at the beginning of the winter distribution the OADW was running as usual we had to pause our operations due to a strict lockdown in Vial Camp.

In order to continue the distribution through the lockdown, we undertook apartment distributions. This was carried out by visiting self-funded apartments, assessing the sizes of those living there, preparing packs at the warehouse and delivering them. We were able to distribute to 620 people in the space of four weeks.

With the announcement from the Greek Government that people could only shop for clothes via the new click away system, we quickly decided to take the OADW online. As we knew that there were more than a thousand people in Vial still in need of warm winter clothing.

In the OA Click Away Form the refugees and asylum seekers can decide on the items they wish to receive as well as saying what their size, colour and style preference are.  Each person is then given a time and a date when their pack is available to pick up from outside our distribution warehouse.

In three weeks we have already distributed to 839 people.


We are thrilled to announce that over 10 weeks we have been able to distribute 95789 summer items to 4655 asylum seekers and refugees living in Chios.

The team, made up of 30 different volunteers over this period, worked tirelessly to ensure that the service provided at the OADW were to the highest standard and that the experience for our shoppers was pleasant. 

This has been the biggest distribution ever carried out by Offene Arme, and to have achieved this while in a global pandemic which restricted the travel of volunteers – resulting in a small team on the ground – is no small feat.

The Open Arms Distribution Warehouse was founded as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which begun in early 2020. We identified the need for a mass distribution of non-food items to residents of Vial as well as those living in apartments, and due to restrictions placed on movement and access to camp, this needed to happen at a location away from camp. 

We acquired a space located between Vial Reception and Identification centre and Chios Town, and set it up as a free shop. The aim of this project is to ensure that high quality items are distributed in a fair, dignified manner. Each visitor to the shop is able to take a number of clothing items, depending on their age and gender, as well as guaranteed extras such as hygiene items, nappies and blankets.

Appointments are assigned digitally, and we try to ensure that the waiting time at the shop is not too long – our aim is to provide a professional, enjoyable experience to each and every person who visits the OADW.

(update 10.2020)