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We are all only one hug away
Added: 02/12/2021 - Nathalie Meier

Thursday, 11 February 2021 – Movement On The Ground, the Dutch NGO supporting refugees in camps on the Greek islands, wants to create the world’s largest virtual hug. In late January, the organisation kicked off the Movement with the likes of football star Davy Klaassen and Dutch chef ​Ron Blaauw,​ and over the past three weeks, refugee camp residents, famous faces like ​Katja Schuurman and ​Marloes Coenen and citizens from The Netherlands, the USA, Greece, Lebanon and Australia all joined to create a chain of virtual hugs.

Now, Movement On The Ground plans to seize Valentine’s Day – a day dedicated to celebrating love – as an opportunity to create the world’s largest hug that connects us all amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The power of ‘just one hug’

Hugs are a globally recognised act that connects us, human to human. Movement On The Ground, an ​organisation of motivated people responding to a humanitarian crisis affecting the innocent men, women and children forced from their homes,​ wants to help the world feel connected again, through the giving and asking of virtual hugs.

The organisation has been active in Greece, specifically on the islands of Lesvos and Samos, for the past five years and closely works with and for people who flee their homes in search of safety, often unsure as to when or if they will be able to hug the ones they love again.

Recognising that right now, people across the world are experiencing a similar fate, the organisation launched the ‘One Hug Away’ campaign in order to connect humans across the globe – no matter who they are or where they come from – and drive additional awareness to the current refugee situation in Greece.

"I never felt the emotional importance of a hug before, like I do now. I want to send the biggest hug ever to my five brothers who still live in Iraq. A hug to tell them how much I've missed them in my life. How much they matter to me, no matter the distance. To feel the warmth of the old days, no matter how challenging they were." – Mohammad Khalaf, Movement On The Ground sports coach and photographer​ . ​In 2016 Mohammad was registered in Moria camp for 40 days before being relocated to Kara Tepe campUs where he stayed for a year and a half before moving to Mytilene, Lesvos.

How can you take part?

It’s simple!

  1. Just take a photo of yourself giving or asking for a hug.

  2. Share it on Instagram or the social media platform of your choice.

  3. Nominate two friends to join the Movement – don’t forget to tag Movement On

    The Ground (@movementonthegroundofficial) and hashtag #hugaway and

    #MOTG.

  4. After you share your hug, learn more about the hugging humans behind the

    campaign by visiting Movement On The Ground’s social media and website,

    www.movementontheground.com/hugaway

  5. If you support the cause, you can make a donation to help refugees feel the warmth, connectivity and humanity that a hug represents.

Movement On The Ground

Movement On The Ground (MOTG) is a Dutch organisation founded in 2015 in response to the onset of the European migration crisis. Motivated to bring actionable change to the humanitarian field, MOTG’s mission is to provide human relief, cultivate solutions and drive sustainable change with and for refugees and host communities.

For more information, visit ​www.movementontheground.com/hugaway​ or contact:

Nathalie Meier
Marketing & Communications Manager 
[email protected], +31639180227



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