The Offene Arme Free Shop opened on a remote site in June 2020 during the Covid pandemic when the team was no longer allowed to attend landings or go into Vial. In December 2021, it moved to its current location at the OA warehouse in response to a reduction of refugee numbers on the island and financial constraints. Throughout this time, the Free Shop has offered supplies to all new arrivals, and has invited the whole refugee population to seasonal distributions.  

In the Free Shop registered asylum seekers have the opportunity to come and shop for a wide selection of clothes, hygiene products and more. The shop is stocked with the generous donations that we received and items purchased with the funding that was kindly gifted to us. Volunteers will be in the shop helping customers with their needs while also keeping the shop neat and tidy.  


On 16th of May we started our summer distribution in the Free Shop! We invited the whole asylum seekers and refugees population present on the island, both the Vial residents and those now living outside of the camp, to come to our Free Shop to get some items for the hot season.

People could choose from a variety of much needed summer clothes, accessories, and hygiene items, including shorts, colourful skirts, sunglasses, summer hats, lotions, perfumes, backpacks, and much more! Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, we are also able to give a few extra items to everyone, including baby food for the youngest children, and more. In total.

So far, we served 402 beneficiaries, of these 270 were men, 88 women, 15 boys, 14 girls, and 15 babies

July 2023 update

As of July, we reached almost all of the island’s population of asylum seekers and refugees. We are therefore currently serving mainly new arrivals. Since the beginning of June,  108 new arrivals visited the shop, coming for the very first time to get their vital supply of clothes, hygiene items, accessories, and more.