Everyone should have a space to feel welcome and connected.
Roof for Humanity’s start
Roof for Humanity is dedicated to building community centres in refugee camps. We do this with and for people who have fled war and natural disasters. In July 2015, architect Narda Beunders personally witnessed the abhorrent living conditions of the refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. To help these displaced people and to contribute to a more humane standard of living, she started a crowdfunding campaign to build a community space in Kara Tepe, one of the ‘camps’ close to the city of Mitilini.
Working with refugees, locals and volunteers, Narda built eight interconnected rooms, which together formed a community space where all are welcome and can be themselves. This soon became a ‘living room’ bustling with activities, such as teaching, handing out soup, and even offering haircuts, as well as children playing games. Upon witnessing this on Lesvos, Narda realised how important a communal space is for stimulating social interaction and personal growth. This inspired her to initiate the founding of Roof for Humanity. The organisation’s purpose is to contribute to a humane existence for everybody who was forcefully displaced.
We at Roof for Humanity believe that social interaction is an essential aspect of building a life with human dignity. Social contact is a basic need of human beings, coming right after food and shelter. To be in connection with your social environment is intensely valuable to people. Moreover, precisely in areas with little protection and comfort, there is a need for a stable place to grow in relation to others.
It is through cooperation and building that we share expertise and experiences that contribute to the personal growth of those in the camps. We stimulate talent and seek partnerships with local parties, in which these talents can be put to use to independently generate income and create educational opportunities.
Our mission is to provide for those who have been forcefully displaced a shared, safe and stable place in which they can rebuild a life of human dignity. We do this by building a space in which everyone at all times feels welcome and protected. This facility shall offer room for education, social interaction, and a place where children can be children.
Our team offers expertise and support during the building process, from the design stage to the full realisation of the project. Furthermore, we assist in setting up a sustainable program of activities. Our initial focus is on education and recreation for children, yet at all times we seek to expand existing activities so that adult men and women can join in and participate. Additionally, opportunities for income-generating activities will be examined, in order to enhance self-sufficiency.
In every project, we cooperate with parties already present on site or in the surrounding area, allowing for existing knowledge and traditions to be integrated. With a team of locals, camp residents and international builders, we join forces to generate a solid foundation that offers long- term stability.
Roof for Humanity
Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016
Urban Campsite Amsterdam 2017
Learn more about what we did at the Urban Campsite Amsterdam
To build community spaces, all over the World.
Soon available items to wear and be part of our movement.