...is generally translated as "hospitable" in English, but literally in Greek means "love for the stranger, foreigner or sojourner". This concept of showing "hospitality", also known as "philoxenia" in Greek, is a core value of a variety of philosophical, religious and humanistic traditions. FILOXENOS strives to show hospitiality and give practical assistance and care to marginalized groups, the poor, immigrants and refugees, etc., with no regard for ethnic, religious, political, sexual, gender-based or national affiliation and regardless of the legal status of our fellow humanbeings in need, through DIRECT ACTION (<<<click on link for definition) and practical application of the ideal of being "hospitable"...because it is the right thing to do. Period. Our guiding light is love for humanity...love is our only master! Thus the heart free from restraint... We strive to defend the defendless, the oppressed, persecuted and marginalized, in both individual and concrete ways as well as fighting systemic and intersectional mechinations of oppression!
FILOXENOS - Org.nr. 812266802 - Kristiansand, NORWAY
Donations, Purchases and Visibility Practice
As of 2017 all donations have come from personal resources or private donations. As FILOXENOS works through "direct action", donations go directly towards acute needs given the situation. From experience, in crisis situations that are volatile and continually changing, the need for quick response to direct needs on the ground will often be fulfilled by more versatile humanitarian aid workers in small groups working directly with locals. This will be the situation in the Ukraine at the current time. It is also an important principle of FILOXENOS that supplies are purchased locally, which is a practical way to help the affected community itself. It is also an important principle of FILOXENOS to support local initiatives, which often have a better knowledge of the "ground", the culture, language and network.
From experience donations will go towards food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, etc., but also towards such mundane things as paying for drainage works, procurring and emptying toilets, vehicle repairs and maintenance, buying diesel or gas for vehicles or generators, lighting, fencing, tarps, face masks, rubber gloves, garbage bags, radios for communication, etc. Let it be noted and transparent that as an honorary, housing and travel expenses for the director and / or coordinator are also provided for from donations.
FILOXENOS is not on SoMe! There is no FB, IG, TT, Snap or other SoMe app that is used! If you see one: it is fake and report it !!! FILOXENOS does not update continually on this website! If you choose to donate for this relief work, please be aware of the fact that the director will probably not take a picture together with your things or your logo to publicize on social media. A bill of lading will be signed for donations of items or a receipt issued for the amount of your donation. but will most likely not make a list of beneficiaries (i.e. refugees), take pictures with them, spend much time or resources on making newsletters and promotion, etc., as she sees this as a misuse of time and resources, when people in the moment and in need should be in focus. If donors would like to come and see what is being done, they are welcome* and encouraged to do so (taking upon themselves the *full responsibility of the risk to life, limb and property), as this will give a more realistic experience of the what, how, when and why resources are distributed to those in need as they are.
History and Present Activities
The organization was founded in 2013 by the musician, artist, writer and former Orthodox priest Christine Harstad Schuff, known artistically as "Queen and Pauper". It was originally called "People at Work" and focused on providing small jobs and periodically housing for poor in Norway as well as helping migrants, asylum seekers and other all-too-often marginalized groups. Due to the large influx of refugees and the great need for assisistence in Europe and specifically in Greece, Christine focused on the refugee situation from Fall 2015 on Lesbos, an island where she already had lived for extended periods of time since 2001. FILOXENOS helped found and maintain economically and practically "STAGE 1" refugee reception point in cooperation with other volunteer groups. She helped coordinate refugee relief work and communication on the North-East side of the island, in the Sykaminea/Skala Sykamineas-area. From October 2015 until March 2016 she voluntarilly functioned as Site Coordinator for the UNHCR Assembly Point (Transit Camp) known as "STAGE 2" at Sykaminea in cooperation with the UNHCR and again in the Spring/Summer of 2017. FILOXENOS maintained between 1 - 5 vans during this period. FILOXENOS reduced activity on the north coast of the island, due to the change in the situation as of the Summer of 2017. FILOXENOS has been in hybernation since then, until February 24th, 2022...
Due to the critical humanitarian and crisis situation in and around Ukraine caused by the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian aggressor FILOXENOS has been resurrected and its mission revised...
In Humanistic Tradition:
"[Hospitality]...is certainly a basic theme in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Quran, but it is a fundamental question in ancient Greek and Roman literature and philosophy as well. Together, these are the constitutive sources for the European humanist tradition that has formulated its ideas about the importance of hospitiality to strangers as an element of universal culture..." (Valkenberg 2006: p. 11)
In Hindu Tradition:
"Be one for whom the guest is God" (Taittiriya Upanishad, Shikshavalli I.20) i.e. treat the guest as you would treat a higher power you claim to believe in or worship.
In Christian Tradition:
"Accepting the task of hospitality, the patriarch [Abraham] used to sit at the entrance to his tent (cf. Gen. 18:1), inviting all who passed by, and his table was laden for all comers including the impious and barbarians, without distinction. (...) We too, then, should actively and eagerly cultivate hospitality, so that we may receive not only angels, but also God Himself. For ‘inasmuch’, says the Lord, ‘as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren you have done it to Me’ (Matt. 25:40)." - St. Theodoros (A Hundred Spiritual Texts, §85)
"...Christ has much to say about the small and the insignificant people. Because Abraham also knew this, he did not inquire of those who were going by who they were or where they came from, as we do now; he simply welcomed all who were passing by. For if you wish to show kindness, you must not require an accounting of a person's life, but merely correct his poverty and fill his need". - St. John Chrysostomos (2nd Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man)
VOLUNTEERING** (NO VOLUNTEERS CURRENTLY BEING ACCEPTED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS)
If you would like to volunteer with FILOXENOS, please feel free to do so...if, and only if you're willing to work hard, listen to experience and get your hands dirty. The work FILOXENOS does is not always easy and often entails long hours working under sometimes quite stressful conditions. Each volunteer is 1) required to pay for their own housing, food and travel expenses, 2) have their own travel insurance, medical and evacuation insurance and, given the current situation, insurance for funeral expenses, and 3) is required to remain for 4 weeks or more, due to energy used to train new volunteers.
Use contact form to apply to volunteer.** (NO VOLUNTEERS CURRENTLY BEING ACCEPTED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS). If a volunteer is accepted, she or he must adhere to FILOXENOS policy and cooperate within this framework, otherwise they may be asked to leave, even after commencement of volunteer work.