Our team are currently responding on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos as well as in the capital Athens.
Complementary to our programmes, IRC Hellas advocates in Greece and abroad for the protection of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees regarding their access to asylum procedures, the reception conditions, their protection and their access to information.
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In August 2019, the IRC launched a new child protection programme aiming at supporting unaccompanied children, 16-years-old and above, to become self-reliant and transition to adulthood smoothly. The IRC supports 20 adolescents through semi-independent accommodation, individual and group psychosocial support, legal counselling, non-formal education, recreational activities and skill-building activities.
The IRC is collaborating with civil society actors and key state institutions in Greece to address violence against women and girls and to meet the mental health and psychosocial needs of all refugees and asylum seekers. The aim of the project is to strengthen Greek gender-based violence (GBV) services and to enhance the exchange of best practices and tools for GBV prevention across Europe. Since its launch, trainings have been offered to more than 180 GBV front-line service responders, such as police officers, midwives, psychologists from government institutions, municipalities, hospitals and NGOs.
IRC Hellas partnered Diotima, the General Secretariat for Family Policy & Gender Equality of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the National Research Centre for Gender Equality (KETHI) on our Women's Protection work.
Since March 2018, IRC Hellas has been offering a comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support programme on the islands. The programme focuses on providing services to asylum-seekers that reside in the Reception and Identification Centers (RICs, also known as ‘hotspots’) on Lesvos, Chios, and Samos. The people we see are forced to live in sub-standard, overcrowded camps, where tension and violence are a daily occurrence. These living conditions and the uncertainty about the future trigger or exacerbate pre-existing trauma.
IRC Hellas has been present in refugee camp of Kara Tepe in Lesvos since its establishment in 2015. The site provides quality accommodation to the most vulnerable refugees, mainly families and children, who have recently arrived on Lesvos. We ensure that quality infrastructure, water, sanitation and hygiene services and shelter are available, as well as we support to the site management function through the secondment of essential personnel. Since 2019, IRC Hellas has started supporting vulnerable groups at Moria and Identification Centers, to better prepare them for the upcoming winters, by providing much-needed heating equipment, tents, as well as a power generator.
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The focus of the IRC Hella’s Economic Recovery and Development team is to support refugees, migrants and vulnerable host populations with integration - especially into the labour market. Since 2017, IRC Hellas has been providing employment and self-employment services and skills development.
The IRC, in partnership with the Municipality of Athens, provides employability services, such as individual career counselling and job readiness workshops that develop employability skills, as well as an introduction to labour rights and familiarisation with Greek work culture.
Over 1,400 people have received job support to date. Gained skills are crucial for all people, who need to kick start their professional career. Along with the Network for Children’s Rights and Laughter’s Guild, we are implementing the programme “PROSVASIS” aiming to empower adolescents with job counselling, formal and non-formal education and multi-level support helping teens and youth discover new opportunities.
The IRC, together with its partner the Alba Graduate Business School, the American College of Greece, provides self-employment support to youth refugees, migrants and vulnerable Greeks. Clients receive business training and coaching and can apply for start-up grants and further mentorship.
We also collaborate with METAdrasi and the National Research Center on the national pilot programme “Helios”, to provide cultural orientation, create educational material and prepare those living in Athens under international protection with job skills.
IRC Hellas provides essential information regarding the protection from COVID through the Refugee.Info platform and to the clients of all our programmes. In cooperation with medical actors, IRC Hellas has established the Medical Response Centre where people residing in Moria are screened for their medical needs. At the same time, IRC provides portable WASH facilities (toilets and hand washing points) for people living in the camps and has also established a quarantine area inside Kara Tepe, to safely isolate newcomers from the rest of the community.
Refugee.Info is a trusted and successful online information platform, established to create an innovative standard for how information reaches — and can be developed in collaboration with — communities in crisis. Born in 2015 as a mobile website, Refugee.Info provides critical information to the thousands of asylum-seekers arriving onto the Greek islands and travelling across Europe. It has since evolved into a unique multi-channel platform with over 96,000 unique users on Facebook.
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Special thanks to our donors for their trust and for setting the base for a better future, from harm to home, for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable people in need.
- UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
-European Commission DG JUST - Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers
- EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme for Greece operated by SOL Crowe in collaboration with HumanRights360
- Stavros Niarchos Foundation
- Citi Foundation
- Stitching Vluchteling
- Malcom Hewitt Weiner Foundation
- Latter-Day Saint Charities
- Macquarie Foundation
- Center for Disaster Philanthropy
- Municipality of Athens as part of the Curing the Limbo project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative.
- METAdrasi – Action for Migration and Development as part of the Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection – HELIOS project supported by IOM Greece
- Network for Children’s Rights as part of the PROSVASIS project supported by EEA Grants Active Citizens Fund Operated by Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow