Project for unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece

International Aid Services (IAS) Denmark has since 2012 been working to identify and provide individual assistance and long-term suitable solutions for unaccompanied refugee minors in Athens, Greece. For this purpose, IAS is conducting street work in order to meet the minor in his habitual surroundings and has established the first of its kind drop-in center where unaccompanied refugee minors can feel safe, develop friendships, and build a bond of trust to adult staff workers that can help them in their situation. IAS is currently the only NGO in Athens which provides care exclusively for unaccompanied refugee minors. IAS provides its services to all unaccompanied refugee minors regardless of nationality, religion, political standing or personal background.

In the center, an experienced social worker and a trained cultural mediator with knowledge on the local situation conduct street work and meet the minors in their known whereabouts (abandoned houses, public parks, temporary residents). In continuation an individual action plan for the unaccompanied minor is developed in order to assess his situation and to develop a strategy to find a durable solution according to the situation and in the best interest of the child. To this end IAS has made a formal agreement with the Greek Council for Refugees to conduct base assessments with unaccompanied refugee minors and to collaborate in referring cases for legal counselling, psychological support and medical care. Moreover, IAS informs unaccompanied minors about their rights, risk factors for health and well-being and how to maintain good self-care as well as providing an effective access to local care-givers. In addition, courses on legal, health, social and safety issues related to the situation of unaccompanied minors in Greece are also provided. Finally, IAS provides social activities within the drop-in center, and also runs a football school twice a week. The objective of the social activities is to give unaccompanied refugee minors the possibility to play and have fun as children and to raise their confidence in themselves.  For the project we have chosen the name “Faros”, which in Greek means “lighthouse”. This is to symbolize that the aim of the drop-in center is to function as a temporary “house” and give the unaccompanied minors hope for a brighter future.

For more information, kindly contact project coordinator Patricia Kirk: (+30) 6944334514 / (+45) 25375299 or e- mail: patricia.kirk@ias-intl.org

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