How we started and where we are today. Continually learning, evolving and adapting.
When We Band Together serves the refugee populations living in Lesvos, Greece. Our community center provides displaced women and children a safe space to access vital resources. We offer lean language courses, clean showers, mental and physical health care, washing machines, yoga classes, computers, skill training and so much more.
WWBT provides education and resources that help displaced populations heal from the past, experience joy in the present, and prepare for the future.
Living in a refugee camp is difficult. Refugees are not granted freedom of movement in Lesvos, which complicates their access to basic amenities. Sexual and physical violence is a challenge within the camps. Our goal is to provide women and children the tools to navigate the present, chart their path for the future, and find peace and dignity in the present.
What resources, amenities, and courses are offered at the center is a collaborative choice made by our partners and funders as well as the preferences of the refugee women and children we serve. Greek locals and refugee women alike teach our courses. To learn more about what programs we currently offer, click here.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, of the 84 million displaced people worldwide, 4.4 million are asylum-seekers and 26.6 million are refugees. The Greek island of Lesvos hosted over a half million refugees in 2015 alone. The tiny island near the Turkish mainland, with a population of less than 120,000, became the center of global awareness of the refugee crisis in the fall of 2015.
Our vision is brought to life with the support of people who share our passion for the cause and work to make a difference.
Chief Operations Officer
Stavros is WWBT’s boots on the ground, managing and coordinating all activities and partnerships. Stavros previously served as manager of the 1,200 person Kara Tepe refugee camp on Lesvos from 2015 - 2019, where he was heralded for his emphasis on maintaining dignity and ensuring quality conditions. When his tenure as site manager ended in August 2019 amid a change in local government, the refugees staged a demonstration in protest, chanting “We need Stavros!”.
Zoë's consistent, details-oriented leadership is what fuels WWBT. Her degree in community health has made WWBT an organization that always has inclusivity top of mind - ensuring the refugee community has a say in the programs they need and an opportunity to lead whenever possible. As a yoga teacher for 8+ years, she has a deep understanding of the need to provide resources that serve the mind, body, and spirit.
Xander is often driving the big vision for WWBT. He and his wife Zoë co-founded WWBT after spending time volunteering on Lesvos in 2015. Xander's career as a social entrepreneur, impact investor, and activist, has him always trying find points of leverage where WWBT can maximize its impact per dollar.
Ramya Kuchimanchi is a designer who grew up being exposed to contrasting cultures, this instilled a deep appreciation for diversity and allowed her to have a different approach to understanding people and problems. She believes that design can bring people together to uplift and empower each other.
Miranda Jane Houng
Founder Becky's Bathhouse
Jane has lived in Hong Kong and China since 1985 but grew up in the UK. She has worked as an academic, businesswoman, media personality and English teacher. She is also a writer. In 2018, she established Becky’s Bathhouse after losing her daughter, Rebecca Dykes. This wellness sanctuary integrated with When We Band Together in March 2021. She has since established two other projects in her quest to make the world a safer place for vulnerable women: www.beckysbutton.org,and www.rebeccadykeswriters.org.