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
07 Jan 21
The HOME Project and the two latest arrivals in our shelters would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year as we move into 2021.
Despite the hard times we have all experienced during the past 9 months, we hope that this year will be brighter and more joyous. A big thank you to our partners and supporters for enabling us to continue serving the children under our care despite all challenges
05 Jan 21
During the holiday season The HOME Project children created greeting cards to thank our neighbors, partners and friends for their support. Creating sustainable ecosystems of positive interaction and mutual care between the children and youth we care for and the local community leads to breaking racist and xenophobic attitudes and constitutes an integral part of our mission.
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
09 Sep 20
Greece: Transfer Refugees and Asylum seekers to Safety on Mainland
Respect for Human Rights should Prevail over Use of Force
Following yesterday's fire in Moria, on Lesvos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organizations call on the Greek Government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, must be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.
The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people should be prioritized. People who tested positive for Covid-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, healthcare, and hospitalization if necessary.
Moving people from Lesvos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources including those from the EU and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.
In these difficult times, it is of outmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.
Boat Refugee Foundation
Equal Rights Beyond Borders
Fenix - Humanitarian Legal Aid
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
Hellenic League for Human Rights
Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη)
Humanitarian Legal Aid
Human Rights Watch
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Legal Centre Lesvos
Médecins Sans Frontières
Network for Children’s Rights
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)
Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)
Refugee Trauma Initiative
Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece
Terre des hommes Hellas
The HOME Project
Άμεση Μεταφορά Προσφύγων και Αιτούντων άσυλο σε Ασφαλείς συνθήκες στην Ενδοχώρα
Να επικρατήσει η λογική και ο σεβασμός των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων έναντι της βίας.
Σε συνέχεια των άκρως ανησυχητικών εξελίξεων από τη χθεσινή πυρκαγιά, η οποία κατέστρεψε ολοσχερώς το Κέντρο Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης της Μόριας, στη Λέσβο, 31 οργανώσεις καλούν την ελληνική κυβέρνηση να παράσχει άμεση βοήθεια στους ανθρώπους που έμειναν χωρίς στέγη. Οι πληγέντες, μεταξύ των οποίων πολλά παιδιά και ευπαθείς ομάδες, θα πρέπει να μεταφερθούν με προσοχή σε ασφαλείς συνθήκες στην ενδοχώρα.
Προτεραιότητα θα πρέπει να δοθεί στη μεταφορά ευάλωτων ομάδων, μεταξύ των οποίων τα ασυνόδευτα παιδιά, οι έγκυες γυναίκες, τα άτομα με αναπηρία, τα άτομα με ιατρικές και ψυχικές παθήσεις και οι ηλικιωμένοι. Στα άτομα που έχουν διαγνωστεί με Covid-19, θα πρέπει να δοθεί ασφαλής στέγαση για το διάστημα της καραντίνας, όπως και πρόσβαση στην ιατροφαρμακευτική περίθαλψη και νοσηλεία, εάν είναι απαραίτητο.
Η μεταφορά των ανθρώπων από τη Λέσβο στην ενδοχώρα απαιτεί έκτακτες λύσεις, σχετικές και με την τρέχουσα κατάσταση πολλών δομών φιλοξενίας στην ενδοχώρα, που είναι υπερπλήρεις. Καλούμε τις ελληνικές αρχές να εργαστούν πάνω σε ένα συνεκτικό σχέδιο που θα μεγιστοποιεί το σύνολο των διαθέσιμων ευρωπαϊκών πόρων και καλούμε για άλλη μία φορά τις ηγεσίες των κρατών μελών της ΕΕ, να μοιραστούν την ευθύνη για την υποδοχή και υποστήριξη των αιτούντων άσυλο, τώρα, περισσότερο από ποτέ.
Σε αυτές τις δύσκολες στιγμές, προέχει ο σεβασμός των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων να βρίσκεται στο επίκεντρο κάθε προσπάθειας ανταπόκρισης στην πυρκαγιά, στη Μόρια και να αποφευχθεί η χρήσης βίας ή εμπρηστικών δηλώσεων. Απεναντίας, θα πρέπει να ληφθούν τα κατάλληλα μέτρα αποκλιμάκωσης προς αποφυγή περαιτέρω βλάβης.
02 Sep 20
Getting ready for the school year to begin.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28a) “Every child has the right to education. Specifically, States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall make primary education compulsory and available free to all.”
At The HOME Project all children obtain immediate access to education and participate in a wide range of educational activities implemented in collaboration with high quality academic institutions and individual volunteer educators in our shelters.
25 Aug 20
We remain committed to adjust to all necessary measures amid Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure that all children in our care and our staff remain safe.
Complying to the latest developments we have set up Covid-19 tests for all our employees returning from holidays and before returning back to their jobs in the shelters.
05 Aug 20
Several girls under our care who turned 18 have moved recently to the 18+ shelter of The HOME Project. All arrived in Greece as unaccompanied children, and found a healing environment in our homes. With individualized support and care, they have regained self-confidence, built healthy relationships in the shelter and at school, and started dreaming about their future. We are proud of their progress and in this new phase we will be next to them with the same dedication.
31 Jul 20
During the lockdown, we reinvented our cultural partnership and developed with Greek National Opera an intercultural hub where children were usually participating in theatrical and opera workshops.
Together with Greek National Opera – Εθνική Λυρική Σκηνή and ARSIS - Association for the Social Support of Youth, we involved the kids in an interactive video clip of the song “Free World”, written by the participants, where diversity brings people together.
28 Jul 20
We were thrilled to enjoy the first crops of our vegetable gardens. During the last three months, we are implementing in collaboration with WWF Greece an urban gardening project bringing nature to the rooftops and backyards of our shelters. While cultivating vegetables and aromatic plants, children under our care have deepened their sense of responsibility and connection with their environment.
17 Jul 20
Our youngest kids from Little Pugad shelter have left this week for their 2-week summer camp. They will learn from a wide range of educational projects, stay in good shape through sport activities, and enjoy the well-known benefits of being in nature.
08 Jul 20
Creating spaces of interaction between our children and the local community leads to breaking stereotypes. Giving back to the neighborhoods where we operate is an integral part of our mission and we are proud to see the children actively engaged in the life of the community. During the “greening project”, they planted, grew and offered aromatic herbs to neighbors who supported the shelters during the pandemic. In collaboration with WWF Greece, we aim to teach the children environmental education with emphasis on sustainability and to share with them best practices for a healthy diet.
07 Jul 20
Thank you Technopolis City of Athens for offering the opportunity to our children to participate at the summer camp and enjoy a rich educational and cultural experience. At The HOME Project we build up the well-being of the children we care for by engaging them in different activities of the city, creating a feeling of belonging to Greek society
01 Jul 20
We are glad to announce that two of our children received last week a positive decision to their family reunification requests, whose cases have been carried out by the legal team of The HOME Project. They will be soon reunited with their families in Germany and Belgium respectively.
Every child has the inalienable right to be reunited with his family. We reiterate once more our call to European countries to speed up family reunification procedures for the best interest of the child
15 Jun 20
We invest in our staff’s continuous training and support in order to respond to the increasing and ever changing needs of children under our care, while adapting to external challenges. June’s training focused on Covid-19 operational and child protection adjustments. Sessions were held in small groups, complying to protection measures.
12 Jun 20
A big thank you to Cosmos Sport for their kind donation of sport items for our children. This contributes to our efforts to encourage the kids get involved in different types of sport and develop a healthy life
10 Jun 20
We express our deepest gratitude to Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden for her trust and for supporting our child protection model through HM Queen Silvia’s Foundation – Care About the Children (http://drottningsilviasstiftelse.se/english/).
A big thank you to Child10 as well for building bridges and channels of support within the global child protection sphere.
It is an honor to work together for a world in which all children have a right to their childhood and an opportunity to build a future for themselves.
06 Jun 20
Konstantinos Dedes, President at Τεχνόπολη Δήμου Αθηναίων - Technopolis City of Athens invited and offered us a beautiful day of joy and exploration to the children we care for at Technopolis.
Part of our mission is to integrate these kids into society via activities that will make them feel like children again and learning the city’s culture is a crucial element in doing that.
05 Jun 20
During quarantine all the children we care for eagerly asked to create “green spaces” in the shelters and come into contact with nature even within the city. We are happy to announce the start of our new Greening Project in collaboration with WWF Greece aiming to teach children gardening skills, environmental awareness, and healthy diet habits.
Online training is the first phase of the project, where environmental education with emphasis on sustainability is provided by WWF Greece expert agronomists to our children.
03 Jun 20
Racism exists in all societies. It is up to each and every one of us to stand up against prejudice, discrimination and violence. Following the sad events taking now place in the US, we endorse once more our support for inclusive societies, providing a solid basis for diversity to coexist.
Social inclusion is created not only through education and social support, but also by bringing people together and creating platforms of interaction, coexistence and mutual support.
As a way to fight xenophobic behavior and break stereotypes, at The HOME Project we create human centered spaces of community building encouraging a feeling of belonging and access to equal opportunities for everyone.
02 Jun 20
We are grateful to Fidel Götz Stiftung for their support enabling us to adjust to the necessary safety measures and cover new urgent operational needs, medical support & hygienic equipment, keeping our children and staff safe from Covid-19
29 May 20
S. arrived in one of The HOME Project shelters for unaccompanied girls and minor mothers with their babies, when she was pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl who is now six-month old. She continues her education and is learning Greek. Here both mother and daughter enjoy a sunny walk.
27 May 20
At The HOME Project being constantly in contact with the children we care for is vital. Only by giving them a voice and integrating their feedback into our child protection model we can offer them the assistance they need, especially amid challenging times like Covid-19 pandemic.
The HOME Project CEO Sofia Kouvelaki talking with the girls in one of our shelters for minor girls and minor mothers, listening to their needs and discussing solutions together
25 May 20
Nargis was a minor when she arrived in Greece a couple of years ago and she found a home in one of The HOME Project shelters for unaccompanied girls and minor mothers with their babies. Her immersion into the Greek society started with access to education in the Greek school and learning the Greek language. Today, as an adult, she has joined our team as a caregiver in one of our shelters.
We are proud of her progress and how committed she is to listening and helping the girls in the shelter. We are looking forward to her reaching new goals.
19 May 20
A big thank you to Pavlina Voulgaraki for being by our side and organizing a musical workshop for our youngest kids from Little Pugad. Music has healing effects and encourages expressing one’s feelings, while helping the kids build their self-esteem
18 May 20
Maher, 19 years old, came to Greece with his little brother. During his two-year stay in The HOME Project’s shelter Orion, he went to school and learnt Greek and English. In January this year, he moved to the 18+ shelter of The HOME Project and has been recently hired as caregiver in the same shelter that hosted him.
We are proud of the steps he has made so far and we are looking forward to his next achievements
14 May 20
Last week, one of our youngest children from Pugad shelter turned one-year old. Staff and children from the shelter contributed to make his day even more special by gathering all together and sharing good vibes and cake. We wish him happy birthday and we are looking forward to seeing him growing up.
12 May 20
Alex, an independent adult now, came in one of our shelters for unaccompanied minor boys three years ago. Today we are proud to have him working in our Socrates shelter as a caregiver. At The HOME Project offering employment opportunities to young adults from refugee community is key step towards social inclusion.
11 May 20
We are grateful to DoctorNext2Me for providing us 24h medical support with a team of neurologists, cardiologists, pediatricians, pathologists, dermatologists.
With great care and professionalism, they decided to help the children The HOME Project hosts in 11 shelters, enabling us to improve the quality of our child protection services.
04 May 20
"We wish to give back to the community, the same way many people gave us in this city". With the help of a tiny sewing machine and few pieces of fabric, L., S. and M. - under L.’s supervision who is talented in fashion design - created masks for the protection of the most vulnerable groups in the city who live exposed to the virus.
We are proud of them and the lesson they give to all of us, on what solidarity is about. We hope that through our work, we have contributed to a small extent to their effort to spread their wings and become active citizens.
01 May 20
The HOME Project wishes you Happy and safe May 1st. Stay safe and keep following all protective measures while enjoying spring.
27 Mar 20
20 Mar 20
The HOME Project stays HOME. We have adjusted our operations to minimize risk of infection while not compromising the quality of services to the children we care for.
All of our shifts have been rearranged in an efficient way to avoid overlaps of staff in the shelters. Child protection meetings, staff meetings as well as supervisions will continue as usual via teleconference channels and while every educational activity of minors has been postponed, in coordination with ACS Athens (American Community Schools) we provide online educational support.
19 Mar 20
The Guardian published our joint letter sent to Greek and EU leaders, where together with 24 civil society organizations we are calling for urgent action to protect unaccompanied children in Greece and take them out of the inhumane conditions they live risking their exposure to COVID-19 amongst other threats.
Photo credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters
12 Mar 20
L., 18 years old from Sierra Leone, has a special talent and passion for fashion and design. Being a graduate of Avioti Fashion ED and having successfully participated in Athens Xclusive Designers Week 2019 at Zappeion Megaron, he is open to job opportunities that will enable him to pursue his passion. Here is a photo of the amazing backpack and some of his sketches.
28 Feb 20
27 Feb 20
Institute Prolepsis visited one of our shelters and gave our cooks and staff in charge of supplies an educational training on food safety practices. We are constantly looking for the best practices and updates to ensure the safety of the children we care for. Thank you Prolepsis for helping us out.
20 Feb 20
Imran, 19years old today, became a member of the Home Project family three years ago joining one of our shelters for boys. Today, we are proud to have him working with us, in one of the shelters and volunteering in his free time to our valuable causes.
Here’s a photo of him on his weekly visit to the Farmer’s Market of Athens, where he gathers along with other volunteers of Μπορούμε fresh food and vegetables that would go wasted if they remained unsold on the markets’ benches at the end of the working day.
20 Feb 20
"It is through our vulnerabilities that we recognize our strengths". Last Sunday, PeaceJam Greece members visited one of our The HOME Project shelters with girls and minor mothers and talked with them about women empowerment; overcoming vulnerabilities and cultivating strengths. Joining our efforts we can achieve the best possible results for the well-being of the children we care for.
19 Feb 20
An ongoing collaboration fostering growth and inclusion.
Each month The HOME Project Child Protection Unit and ACS Athens (American Community Schools) teachers engaged with the Youth to Youth program come together to exchange best child protection policies while empowering their remarkable effort at supporting 18 full-time tuition scholarship recipients at ACS Athens, generously offered by the Shapiro Foundation.
14 Feb 20
We all came together at Δημοτική Αγορά Κυψέλης, in the center of Athens, to celebrate our ever-growing community embracing inclusion and paving the way to a safer and happier society for everyone. Our children, staff, volunteers, friends and supporters of The HOME Project were present to light up the Community Building Event spirit and have fun.
Flourish Foundation hosted a wonderful arts workshop and everyone enjoyed the arts exhibition with our children’s impressive craft-works. The Anasa Cultural Center presented a social circus session and the DJ George Raptakis kept us dancing with great music. We are thankful of everyone who joined this Community Building initiative and we look forward to hosting you in the next one.
03 Feb 20
The monthly capacity building training for all the staff of our shelters was offered by Mr. Konstantinos Kokkolis, Deputy Director of Program Implementation at Οργανισμός Κατά των Ναρκωτικών - ΟΚΑΝΑ in collaboration with The HOME Project Child Protection Unit. The training was centered around the identification of signs of drug abuse in children’s behavior and the presentation of different models of functional daily management and treatment. Empowering our staff to respond efficiently and effectively is key priority to our mission.
16 Jan 20
Inclusive and diverse communities of coexistence, care, love and support are essential for the beneficial development of any human society. Yesterday we celebrated the beginning of the New Year in Romantso in Omonoia square in the heart of Athens. We shared traditional customs to welcome 2020, drumming and dancing with the tunes of Anasa Cultural Center and DJ George Raptakis. A big thank you to the wonderful community of children, staff and friends of The HOME Project who honored us with their presence. Our wish is for all children of the world to be able to their undeniable right to enjoy their childhood with health, love, education, joy and peace. Looking forward to seeing you all and those who didn’t make it to our next community building event. Stay tuned.
09 Jan 20
Our full-time scholarship students at ACS Athens (American Community Schools) were introduced by their teachers to the tradition of ancient Greek theater. Since many of them have never seen a theater performance their teachers organized a theater visit for them. We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Greek National Opera – Εθνική Λυρική Σκηνή for offering the opportunity to our children to attend the Four Seasons musical play and enjoy a beautiful day at the park.
03 Jan 20
A big thank you to Panathinaikos BC and PAO BC Academy for welcoming our children to a great basketball game We are looking forward to coming back and exploring more potential pathways for collaboration.
02 Jan 20
Our Coordinator of the “Little Pugad” shelter for children aged 6-11 years old – Giannis Manios, was a speaker at the ‘Alliance for Children on the Move: Standard Operating Procedure for Guardians’ event organised by the Institute of Children’s Health (http://www.ich.gr/en/), advocating the importance of having a social inclusion approach within the context of a child protection framework.
30 Dec 19
During the last weeks, everyone participated in the decoration of all shelters creating a festive and warm atmosphere for all children enabling a feeling of belonging and celebration during the holidays.