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
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.
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.
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.
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