03 Oct 22We are grateful to Obama Foundation representatives, Christopher Mueller Simon, Global Programs Associate, and Jitka Hromek-Vaitla, Deputy Director, Global Leadership Programs for their kindness and the time they devoted to experience our work on the field. During their visit, our CEO and alumna of the Obama Foundation Leaders Europe program, Sofia Kouvelaki, discussed with them about the importance of child protection for refugee children.
21 Sep 22
This week we participate at the 2nd IKEA Foundation Ambassador Hub in Greece along with partners UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Justdiggit, HIGGS, What Design Can Do. Following shelter visits we worked in groups to introduce ambassadors from all over the world to our mission and explore ways to work all together to raise more awareness and support for lone refugee children.
20 Sep 22
13 Sep 22Children are back to school! A key part of The HOME Project mission is to safeguard the inalienable right to education for all children under our care. We support every step of their academic development, enabling equal access to opportunities and the ability for them to be in a position to create a future for themselves.
01 Jul 22The recent case of young Saidou, a refugee from Guinea, has brought to the surface the systemic lack of a child protection framework that ensures unhindered access to all children's rights such as housing, education, health, and equal access to opportunities.In Saidou's case, after the intense mobilization of the education community and the wider society, a solution was found. However, we must bear in mind that other unaccompanied children are – and will be – in a similar legal vacuum, either before or immediately after they reach adulthood.Considering that this problem makes unaccompanied children vulnerable to violence and exploitation, 44 Civil Society Organizations call for the granting of a special residence permit to unaccompanied children until at least the age of 21.
25 Jun 22
Rosie was a minor when she arrived in Greece and found a home in one of our shelters for unaccompanied girls and minor mothers with their babies. Today, as an adult, she has joined our team as a caregiver and last week she participated as a speaker at the national workshop discussion on “Children’s Alternatives to Detention Protecting their Rights in Europe”. We are proud of her progress and how committed she is to helping and advocating for lone refugee children in Greece.
20 Jun 22On #WorldRefugeeDay we honor refugee’s strength and all of those who protect their undeniable right to education. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate 4 The HOME Project children who graduated from ACS Athens (American Community Schools) last Friday and have received full scholarships to American educational institutions to continue their studies.Our CEO Sofia Kouvelaki, was one of the keynote speakers of the commencement ceremony and during her speech she highlighted the importance of education and how equal access to opportunities can transform a young person’s life. We are so proud watching them grow, opening their wings and building a future for themselves.We want to congratulate as well another 63 children under our care for completing the annual Saturday Youth to Youth program and receiving their certifications today.Since 2017, the Youth to Youth program in collaboration with ACS Athens (American Community Schools) has touched the lives of hundreds of refugee minors, educators, facilitators, students, and volunteers and has created the safe space of a learning community.
15 May 22
Our children, staff, volunteers, friends and supporters joined the first community building event organized by Brown Club of Greece aiming to communicate the importance of coexisting and offering in a spirit of respect at the wonderful premises of Organization Earth. Everyone was involved in an outdoor cooking activity with the goal to produce extra food portions to support people in need via Boroume NGO. Children under our care interacted with children in the autism spectrum supported by Avali, enjoyed a bubble show presented by Kokoika, participated in art and jewellery making workshops implemented by our staff, and attended the #Eat4change educational workshop by WWF Greece. A big thank you to Desmos and Café Femenino Greece for supporting us.
15 Apr 22
We are thrilled to share that Moraitis School will further mobilize the active participation of the school community to support our Little Pugad shelter accommodating children aged 6-12 years old. We strongly believe that every child has the right to education and the opportunity to succeed. Via this initiative, the school community will support children with home tutoring, school supplies while supporting the shelter’s maintenance needs, contributing to the provision of a safe and healing environment.
17 Mar 22
Thank you Emmanuelle Béart for supporting the children under The HOME Project care and raising awareness about the issue of lone refugee children in Greece. We are grateful to have your humanism and sensitivity bringing us inspiration during these challenging times. We want to extent our gratitude to Ambassade de France en Grèce and Institut français de Grèce for making this happen. It is our honor to welcome you in our shelters and at a Philanthopy Gala organized in collaboration with St. George Lycabettus Hotel.
01 Mar 22
S., 16 years old from Somalia, came to Greece as a lone refugee child one year ago. When he arrived, his first wish was to enroll in school. Today, he attends the 8th Lyceum of Athens and has developed into an active member of the student community. With the support of his teachers, he presented to his classmates Somalia and discussed aspects of culture, customs, religion and traditional food recipes of the country.
19 Feb 22
Following the continuous support of our legal team two of our children received positive decisions to their asylum requests. Previous rejected asylum requests had exposed both of them at risk of being excluded from the public health system even though they have serious medical conditions. We reiterate once more our call for an individualized legal approach during the asylum process protecting lone refugee children in Greece according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
03 Feb 22
Mustafa, 19-years from Iraq, was under our care for 4 years. With hard work and proper support, he learned Greek and English and gradually developed into a responsible, dynamic and friendly young adult. Today after receiving constant training from our Child Protection Unit, he has been moved to the 18+ shelter of The HOME Project and has been hired as a caregiver in one of our shelters for teenage boys. Our goal is to provide children under our care with the tools to become active and responsible citizens, and be in a position to build a future for themselves.
20 Jan 22
We are very proud for our Alpha, a young adult who is working as a bakery assistant at Choc Chip Bakery. We would like to thank Alexandra Tsatsou for welcoming him and giving him the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. His story is a vivid example of a child transitioning into adulthood and becoming an active citizen. Because he was able to have access to opportunities after receiving the necessary, care and support.
20 Oct 21
The ultimate aim of our child protection model is the integration of youth under our care into society. At The HOME Project we enable children and youth to develop their skills and talents to be able to have access to the job market. With the generous support of Al Madad Foundation we have launched a social integration program for our 18+ youth providing them with the opportunity to participate in vocational training. This project aims to promote social inclusion by ensuring access to equal opportunities, enabling youth employability.
18 Oct 21
“We lay Athens open to all and at no time evict or keep the stranger away.“ (Pericles' Funeral Oration. Thucydides, 430 BC)
At The HOME Project we try to address racism, xenophobia and break social stereotypes by developing healthy ecosystems of mutual support and positive interaction. We are thrilled to share a snapshot from our latest community building event, which took place at Filopappou Hill in the center of Athens, bringing together communities, while sharing values of equality, love and acceptance, while cultivating a sense of belonging for children under our care. A big thank you to Constantin Papakonstantinou, The Flying Seagull Project, Anasa Cultural Center, Mum Institute, Flower Athens and Δεσμός - Desmos for their invaluable contributions in making this event happen.
A big thank you to all the friends that joined us. Stay tuned for our next event.
Video Credit: Iason Photography
11 Oct 21
All children should be allowed to join their family. One of the children under our care, a 10-year-old boy from Somalia, arrived last week safe in the Netherlands accompanied by one of our lawyers to reunite with his mother. We are proud of our legal team and the tireless work dedicated to every child, providing access to legal aid and representation, as an integral part of The HOME Project child protection model.
28 Sep 21
A key priority of our mission is to empower our staff to continuously improve the care and protection services they provide to children under our care. During this month’s capacity building session conducted by our Child Protection Unit we discussed the feedback we received through our staff care evaluation plan. Our aim is to improve the wellbeing in the workplace and reduce any work related stress, health and mental health problems. A big thank you to Σεράφειο Δήμου Αθηναίων - Serafio City of Athens for hosting us.
17 Aug 21
As part of our Youth Engagement project, The HOME Project intern and Youth Ambassador Amadou Diallo is conducting focus groups at our shelters to discuss our child protection model with children under our care, listen to their needs and worries and share his own experience. Our child protection unit and shelter staff are supporting Amadou at every step of this journey.
20 Jul 21
M. has been under the care of The HOME Project for the past three years. With hard work and proper structure, he learned Greek and English, which led to the opportunity of getting vocational training. We always pursue the necessary tools to enable children under our care to succeed. Today, as a young adult, he secured a summer job on Kimolos island. We are grateful to Apostolos Ventouris for welcoming him and giving him the opportunity to gain work experience at Kali Kardia "Bohoris" and Postali restaurants.
Photo credit: Stamatia Dimitrakopoulos
08 Jun 21
Per Heggenes, CEO of our invaluable partner IKEA Foundation, and chairman of our Advisory Board visited us in Athens.
Thanks to IKEA Foundation's extraordinary support this far The HOME Project has provided a safe home to more than 600 lone refugee children.
Per’s genuine care and steadfast leadership inspires us to continue our work into the future. Children and staff caught up with Per and his wife Karen during a wonderful picnic at the National Garden.
Per and Karen, our Home is your Home!
20 May 21
Children under The HOME Project care distributed masks to the people of Shedia that they designed during their participation in environmental awareness workshops delivered in collaboration with WWF Greece. Waterbags produced the children’s drawings and wishes into masks. Giving back to the community in an environmentally conscious way instills these values in the children as they develop into active and mindful members of society.
20 Apr 21
“At some point all these children are going to turn 18, and integrating them has to be a priority. The biggest challenge for Greece and the EU is recognizing the need to forge ahead with wholesale integration policies.”
A big thank you to Helena Smith and The Guardian for interviewing our CEO Sofia Kouvelaki and some of the young adults working for The HOME Project who were formerly under our care as unaccompanied minors. Their example demonstrates how employment is crucial to integration for refugee children as they reach adulthood and become active, participating members of society.
Currently, there are 3,800 lone refugee children in Greece and more than 900 live in insecure housing conditions or living in the streets exposed to all sort of threats.
To read the full article click here
01 Apr 21
Hygeia Hospital provided a pro-bono surgery for S., a child under our care. We are incredibly grateful for their kindness in undertaking this surgery, and it marks a significant milestone in a long road to fully addressing S.’s health.
30 Mar 21
The HOME Project would like to extend a thank you to Médecins du Monde Greece for conducting a COVID-19 safety and protection workshop for children under our care. Their generous provision of COVID-19 safety kits has contributed to maintaining a safe environment for both children and staff within the shelters.
18 Mar 21
We are proud that our CEO, Sofia Kouvelaki is a member of the first class of Obama Foundation Leaders: Europe—a program that connected her with other talented leaders to work together to create the change we want to see in our communities and beyond. Their meeting with Barack Obama filled us all with hope and energy to continue our work.
08 Mar 21
Empowering girls to pursue their dreams, encouraging them to break stereotypes and providing equal opportunities to have a life of dignity and joy are vital elements of The HOME Project Child Protection Model. International Women’s Day provides us with the chance to celebrate women and girls everywhere. #women #girlpower #internationalwomensday
18 Dec 20
On International Migrants Day, we recognize and appreciate the significance of people and children who bring their skills and diversity to our community and we work to ensure their right to a bright future.
The HOME Project was founded in 2016 to address the needs of lone refugee children who arrive in Greece and 4 years later, a total of more than 570 children in 14 shelters have received comprehensive child protection services, care and chance for a better life.
We are extremely grateful to all our partners and friends who have enabled us to provide protection and care for these children.
Thank you for joining us in this journey.
16 Dec 20Movement On The Ground
as well as welcoming the first children. "Thiseas", a home for unaccompanied teenage boys, has a capacity of 16 and is now full of life after the arrival of the first children. The creation of this safe and healing home is yet another milestone in our joint mission to provide holistic, individualized care and child protection services for unaccompanied children on the move. #nochildalone
20 Nov 20
On World Children’s Day, we recognize the significance of children in all of our lives and the importance of providing them with compassion and care to ensure their right to a bright future.
Despite the inalienable Rights of a Child, there are still 2,286 lone refugee children outside of a system of protection in Greece today. We must all work together to bring this number to 0. #worldchildrensday