On the Ground in Greece

Salvatore Loddo, The Unmentionables’ former Greek Logistics Coordinator

Salvatore Loddo was responsible for the overall logistics coordination of The Unmentionables in Greece. He managed product distributions, mobilized resources, led volunteers, and acted as the main point of contact for vendors, suppliers, and transport agents in Greece. From distributions on Chios to opening The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens, Salvatore was a key piece of the puzzle in our Greek operations. Check out his reflections on his experience with The Unmentionables!

I spent four months as The Unmentionables’ Logistic Coordinator in Athens and I am proud of what was accomplished after I accepted the assignment. When I first took on my position, I was the organization’s only representative in Greece, and I quickly jumped into my new role. Within a week of joining the team, due to the emergency situation on Chios, I helped organize a distribution of 1,000 pairs of underwear to the crowded Greek island. The presence of pre-existing contacts with vendors, along with the linguistics mediation of my first local mentor Pantelis, allowed us to successfully rise to meet the challenge. In that first and fundamental moment, I became aware of the potential of The Unmentionables’ charitable work in Greece.

In January 2018, we opened The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens, a space where refugees can attend sexual and reproductive health workshops, and access a free shop filled with intimate health and hygiene products. Despite the challenges faced, Genevieve, the organization’s Greek Education Coordinator, and I’s commitment to the project never wavered.  When you build something from scratch in a country where you are unfamiliar with the language, culture, and bureaucratic dynamics, you will encounter obstacles that can only be overcome through hard work and relentless perseverance. Having contributed to a project that is quickly gaining recognition for its success in fulfilling the needs of refugees in Athens has been the greatest reward for all the time and work invested in The Unmentionables Resource Center.

Now that we have established a firm foundation in Athens, our future work will continue to build on it. With the assistance of the Resource Center’s manager and the volunteers who contribute to the growth of the organization’s presence in Greece, I know that The Unmentionables will keep dreaming bigger and impacting further. I will do everything I can to collaborate with the team to make the organization’s journey as fluid and successful as possible.

 

Bianca Settino