Words from the top: An interview with HSA Founder Fred Morlet

Frédéric Morlet has been one of the driving influences in transforming Kara Tepe into the well oiled machine that it is today. Before he leaves Greece on his new mission to Burkina Faso we caught up the father of HSA to ask his thoughts on the situation today.

What is your role in HSA and what does it entail?

As the Country Director (until Feb. 15th), I represented HSA at local and national level, liaising with local authorities and other coordinating agencies. I was responsible for assets and staff, and for the overall HSA security strategy. I coordinated field operations and emergency; undertook risk and threat assessments, and developed & implemented HSA’s MOSS.
I recently took over the position of Project and Program Risk Manager for Burkina Faso and will be posted there from March 10th.
I shall have the mission of analyzing the situation in terms of needs and risks, and developing a protection program according to the needs and potential gaps in cooperation with the humanitarian actors in the region.
As the Project and Program Risk Manager, I shall liaise with local authorities and other coordinating agencies. Drafting the overall HSA security strategy, undertaking risk and threat assessments, and adapting HSA’s MOSS (Minimum Operating Security Standards) to the local situation will be part of my future mission for HSA in West Africa.

What was your motivation for coming to Lesvos?

At the beginning of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, I was living and working in Spain, and also volunteering for UNICEF. Seeing everyday on the television asylum seekers and numerous children washed ashore in Greece and Italy decided me to help directly on site, but without precise plan in the first instance.
The decision to come to Lesvos was based on two factors: first of all it was the Greek island the most affected by the crisis (up to 8;800 refugees landed in one day during the highest peak of the arrival in October 2015), on the other hand the proximity to my family’s wife in Turkey.

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen in camp?

In Kara Tepe (unfortunately it is/was not always the same in other camps), volunteers from all over the world collaborating hand in hand with NGOs and the largest organisations in order to provide safety and support to the thousands and thousands of asylum seekers.

What is the one thing you would take with you in a disaster situation?

My go-bag. It will contain:
Water purification tablets,
- First aid kit and drogues,
- Survival items,
- Radio,
- Spare batteries,
- Important and vital phone numbers,
- Emergency plan,
- Regional map,
- Cash ($250 USD)
- Cell Phone
- Water and energy bars
- Knife

What would you say to someone who is thinking about donating to HSA?

HSA only could have provided relief to people in need in camps (Moria, Kara Tepe and Agios Andreas) thanks to your support. Thus we offered in 2016 more than 800,000 cups of tea, 135,000 clothes or 50,000 hours work on the ground.
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