Movement On The Ground and The HOME Project partner to open three new shelters for unaccompanied minors

Stories

Movement On The Ground and The HOME Project partner to open three new shelters for unaccompanied minor refugees in Athens, funded by the Dutch Government

Athens, October 1st  2020 

“It brings me such peace to know this project is finally being realised, and more importantly hope for the children we will be able to care for." Martijn van Ommen, Project Lead

In an effort to provide more safe and enabling environments for vulnerable unaccompanied minor refugees in Greece, Movement On The Ground and The HOME Project have partnered to open three new shelters in Athens. There are currently 4,500 unaccompanied children in Greece, with many falling outside a system of protection and in urgent need of accommodation.

The project is jointly supported by the Dutch and Greek governments as a part of a program to strengthen the reception and guardianship capacity for unaccompanied minors in Greece. The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security will provide for the next three years financial support for the opening and operation of three shelters.

Movement On The Ground and The HOME Project announce the opening of the first shelter for unaccompanied minor girls and minor mothers with their babies. The additional two shelters are due to open soon after. Each of the three shelters will have the capacity to host 16 unaccompanied children, aged from 13 to 18 years old. Subject to the progression of the asylum procedure for each minor resident, successful family reunification and the adult legalisation once a child turns 18, new places in the shelters will become available. It is expected that hundreds of minors will reside in the shelters over a period of three years. 

The two organisations will jointly provide a holistic set of child protection services, covering food, medical assistance, social, legal and psychological support and access to sports, education and vocational training. In line with the strengths of both organisations, Movement On The Ground will oversee the operations of the facilities and provide future skills building activities for the children. The HOME Project will be responsible for the operation and provision of child protection services within the shelters. 

Martijn van Ommen, Movement On The Ground’s Project Lead in Athens says “It brings me such peace to know this project is finally being realised, and more importantly hope for the children we will be able to care for. Since I have started working for MOTG back in 2016, I have been in touch with some of the most vulnerable unaccompanied minors, mostly during my time in Vathy camp on Samos. I have not only heard, but also experienced first-hand their struggles, their vulnerabilities and unstable situation. I am very excited to have found such like-minded and compassionate partner in The HOME Project. We believe these shelters will contribute to a durable solution for these children in Greece.”

Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The HOME Project says “We are grateful to the Dutch Government for its commitment in providing financial support to assist unaccompanied children in Greece. We are happy to have by our side Movement On The Ground to jointly start operating three more HOMES for unaccompanied minors in Greece. We believe our cooperation and complementary expertise will be extremely useful for the successful implementation of this project.”

Movement On The Ground

Movement On The Ground (MOTG) is a Dutch organisation established in 2015 in response to the on-set of the European migration crisis. Motivated to bring change to the humanitarian field, MOTG has made its mission to provide dignified, sustainable and innovative responses which benefit both refugees and host populations. At the core of its mission is the “Camp to campUs” philosophy, a belief that all refugee camps should be more inclusive and self-sufficient enabling refugee populations to feel safe, empowered and connected to their host community. 

For more information, visit http://movementontheground.com
Contact Information:
Nathalie Meier, Marketing and Communications
nathalie@movementontheground.com | +31 639180227

The HOME Project

The HOME Project is a non-profit organization set up to address the needs of refugee children, who arrive in Greece alone. We move children from the streets, camps, police stations, detention centers and bring them to the safety of our HOMES where they receive a holistic network of child protection services with the ultimate aim of social inclusion. In three years of operation, The HOME Project has operated 11 shelters and provided assistance to more than 520 unaccompanied children in Greece. Moreover, it has created so far 150 jobs for both Greek and refugee communities.

For more information, visit http://homeproject.org
Contact Information:
Vassilis Michailidis, Chief of Staff
+30 216 900 2140

More stories