Activity fields

Campfire Innovation

Campfire Innovation was forged with a simple vision: innovative aid that effectively delivers dignified conditions to displaced people.

Radical creativity and innovative solutions are needed to tackle the challenges that humanitarian aid faces and provide dignified solutions for millions of people. Grassroots civil society organizations are inventing new approaches, but, as they struggle to survive or expand their reach, we risk losing them which would mean losing crucial services for refugees and innovative practices that can change humanitarian aid altogether.

We are a hybrid organization combining the characteristics of an advocacy platform and those of a very practical support mechanism.

Our mission is to identify small and smart models with a focus on dignified conditions, refugee empowerment and effective operations, and to support their growth. We are a support system which connects these organizations to each other, provides easy to use capacity building tools and gives them access to resources.

In a field notorious for its focus on direct aid and short-term impact, Campfire Innovation chose to “help the helpers” and take a different approach, because we believe that investing in the long-term growth of small and smart initiatives has the potential to effectively change the lives of refugees, and redefine the aid sector completely.

Our role as a multiplier can have an impact on a larger scale. Therefore, we are looking for funders that value the role we play in improving direct aid.

What we do

Over the last two years, civil society initiatives have cropped up to fill gaps and provided crucial services, delivering humanitarian aid to over one million refugees in Greece. Those initiatives include small nonprofits, volunteer teams and local community groups, student projects, and refugee-led initiatives. These teams bring creativity and flexibility, but often lack crucial capacities. Additionally, tools and support currently available do not always match their needs.

Through our activities, we help small and smart refugee initiatives expand and professionalize, while they continuously provide services to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. Our approach is to identify grassroots organizations engaging in innovative practices, and help sustain their programs by providing coordination, visibility, and access to resources.

Mapping of Smart & Small Initiatives

Our ongoing mapping and the development of our MindMap, an internal tailor-made database, is at the core of our ability to identify the most innovative projects and their best practices.

So far, we have mapped over 70 teams operating in Greece. Through our MindMap, we track initiatives, their activities and their progress, we identify challenges and common needs, and it helps us match incoming resources that correspond to the needs of the teams we support.

Collaboration & Advocacy

Having a strong knowledge and understanding of what grassroots humanitarian innovation is, increasingly gives us the opportunity to act as a megaphone for small and smart initiatives to showcase their work and facilitate collaboration amongst them but also with INGOs, corporates and academics.

Access to Resources

Our MindMap also serves as a compelling matching tool through which we are implementing our activities. We are focusing on structuring them into three key programs:

Pro Bono Experts: we connect Pro Bono Experts from the private sector with grassroots teams to identify shortfalls and generate sustainable solutions. The goal is to develop systems that will continue being used after the expert volunteers have left.

Match & Connect: we provide resources for teams in our network.

RefCamp: we created an online collection of best practices, practical tools and resources for grassroots teams, inspired by real examples and the work of our team on the field.

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