Disaster response Greece

Connectivity in Lesvos Refugee Camp

2020 - 2023
Published on Sep 25, 2020 05:08 PM  -  Updated on Jan 30, 2024 12:57 PM
TSF deployed on the ground soon after the fire. Our team is maintaining the only Internet connection in the camp.

Context: Population displacement
Start date: 17/09/2020
End date: 13/112023
Area of intervention: Lesvos
Activity: Connectivity for population 

+25,000 connected devices

+50 TB of data exchanged


Between September 8th and 10th of 2020, several fires broke out in the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, located on the island of Lesvos, Greece. The camp was completely destroyed and after living for several days in the streets, around 12,000 asylum seekers were relocated to Mavrovouni - a city located North of Mytilene - where an emergency camp was set up. Today, more than 19,000 refugees and asylum-seekers reside in the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios. As of July 2023, 2,300 reside in Mavrovouni refugee camp. However, even though the number of people arriving across Greece’s sea and land borders have decreased in the past few years, there has been a recent increase, with 2,310 arriving in January alone, 31% in Lesvos. Thus, the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees remain critical.

Map Lesvos EN.png

Providing connectivity to refugees

A few days after the fires, a TSF team installed a free Wi-Fi connection covering the entrance and the quarantine zone of the camp. A few months later, in December 2020, the coverage was extended to a common area of the camp.

TSF has been maintaining the only Wi-Fi access for asylum seekers and refugees in the Mavrovouni camp, since the beginning of its mission in Lesvos. This access includes the arrival area of the camp, allowing newly arrived individuals to use the connectivity and contact their families. By 2022, the Mavrovouni camp had primarily become a transit camp for just over a thousand asylum seekers, with between 70 and 100 new arrivals each week.

Connectivity is an essential need for refugees as it enables them to receive psychological relief by remaining in close contact with their loved ones, find important information about their situation, and follow their asylum application process.

In extremely uncertain situations, in which they feel stuck on the island without clear foresight on their future, connectivity gives them the opportunity to conduct research on possible opportunities and develop projects for a brighter future - based on the information they can find online.

The internet connection installed by TSF is offering a free link to the outside world to people who have not only been living in harsh conditions for months, or even years, but who have also had to suffer the trauma of seeing their already precarious lives devastated by the fires.

Working alongside local organisations

TSF works in close collaboration with the local authorities and other organisations in the field, to provide refugees with a suitable assistance made possible through the positive potential of technologies and telecommunications.

As part of these collaborations, one of our teams recently recruited 6 volunteers from the local organisation "Stand By Me Lesvos", to conduct an evaluation on the importance of TSF’s Wi-Fi connection, in order to better assess the needs of communities living in the camp.

To know more about the benefits of connectivity for refugees, read our newsletter.


TSF Wi-Fi is very important for me because it is my only option to be connected, I don’t have 4G. So it is my only option to learn the news, to stay connected and I think it is like this for many people. It is very useful.” - 17-year-old Afghan refugee.

“The free connection is essential for all of us. It allows us to be connected but also to be distracted and think about other things.” - 31-year-old Congolese refugee.

 “Not everyone can pay 4G and even if some of us can pay it, it’s important to have other options. So your connection is very good for us. Thank you.” – 45-year-old Syrian refugee.


After three years of providing free Wi-Fi access to refugees in Mavrovouni camp, TSF left Greece after ensuring that a local provider took over the initiative.

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