Access to safe accommodation for refugees in Greece
To provide refugees with a more dignified housing solution than staying in refugee camps or on the streets, Terre des hommes provides around 15 apartments in Thessaloniki and 30 in Ioannina, where refugee youth and families get all-around assistance to cope with the transition into their lives in Greece, including social help, legal support, as well as psychological aid.
Helping young people make the step to adulthood
After refugee children turn 18 years old, they have to leave the shelters designed for them. To cover the gap of directly having to cope by themselves, we have set up Supervised Independent Living Arrangements in Thessaloniki, functioning like shared homes of 2 to 3 young people per apartment. For vulnerable youth between 18 and 25 years protective apartments are set up the same way. There, we help them in their integration and to cope with their lives in their transition to adulthood.
“We enhance their life skills by supporting them when shopping, budgeting; it’s simple things, but as they were in camps and shelters before, where they were always told what to do, it is difficult for them now: they have to learn how to do things by themselves,” explains Pablo, our social facilitator. Young people are also followed up on by case workers who refer them to legal, psychological and medical services. With psychosocial activities, they get around town in groups and can benefit from different happenings, whether it is a city historic walk, horseback riding or the celebration of cultural events. Thanks to our collaboration with language schools and universities through the project supported by Swiss Solidarity, which has the goal of building skills of young refugees, they can also attend language courses. These give them the possibility to apply for a scholarship or do a vocational training.
In Ioannina, vulnerable refugee families with children face the biggest difficulties and are therefore housed in our protective apartments. They get weekly support from our social workers which refer them to legal, medical and psychological services if needed. In the Ioannina Community Centre, they are provided with non-formal education: everybody can join English and Greek classes, or our innovative FabLab workshop, which allows young people to create and design their own projects with the help of technological tools like 3D printers and laser cutters.
Terre des hommes’ safe accommodation project, funded by the European Commission, gives the refugee families and youth a dignified solution to cope with their lives in Greece. We provide protection services to respond to specific emergency situations by prioritizing safety and security for people living in tough conditions, which enhances their integration skills and empowers youth to navigate into adulthood. They get the most needed support in a transition period which will design the way of their future lives.
Read the story of a Syrian family who lives in a protective apartment.