Unaccompanied minor refugees of NGO The HOME Project receive full-time scholarships from Athens College
Athens, January 19th, 2022:
Athens College and the non-profit organization The HOME Project announce the provision of three full-time scholarships awarded by Athens College to children under the care of the organization, as well their admission to the 1st Gymnasium grade (7th grade) for the academic year 2021-2022 following their success in the College’s entrance exams.
This initiative has been carried out with the significant contribution of the Athens College administration, the support of three individual donors and the critical participation of the Athens College educational staff who have offered long standing necessary supportive tutoring in order to prepare the candidates for the exams.
Athens College and The HOME Project commenced their collaboration during academic year 2018-2019 by implementing an educational and social integration program via the provision of Greek, English, Mathematics, Art, Theater and Physical Education courses offered on Saturdays at the school campus. Athens College students volunteered to participate as mentors and coaches for the Home Project children guiding them throughout the year. Temporarily, this program has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Costas Synolakis, President of Athens College, stated: "Today, more than ever, educational institutions must lead the way and set the foundation for a society which respects diversity and human rights and ensures a peaceful coexistence for all. These scholarships are ingrained with the Athens College philosophy and mission of providing equal access to education as well as its long lasting tradition in social outreach, solidarity, offering to the community and legacy of giving. Athens College, a non profit educational institution, has established its Scholarship program since its founding in 1925 and offers every year the opportunity to hundreds of students, whose families have limited financial means or are currently facing financial hardships, to study at the College".
Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The HOME Project and an alumna of Athens College said: “Education plays a crucial role in The Home Project child protection model and is a key element for the development and integration of unaccompanied refugee children in society. We are grateful to Athens College. This collaboration provides an example of how a learning community can adjust into today’s global challenges and act as a catalyst of peace and progress, contributing to social wellbeing for all. We hope that this is only the beginning of a human centered approach to education enabling vulnerable children to have access to equal opportunities so that they can open their wings and thrive”.
All three children succeeded in their entrance exams in September 2021 and received the news of their admission to Athens College with great enthusiasm. One of the children said when he heard the news: “Today you help me and I will in turn help someone tomorrow. We help each other and this is the way the earth goes round”.
Such initiatives ensure a socially sustainable and fair world, providing access to education for all children regardless of their socioeconomic, national, cultural and religious background. This enables students to adopt a well-rounded education and way of thinking, become active and responsible global citizens and contribute to society.
Notes to Editors
The HOME Project (www.homeproject.org)
The HOME Project (THP) is a nonprofit organization created in 2016 to care for unaccompanied children whose families and lives are wrecked by war and persecution, empowering them to persevere and grow into active citizens. We rescue children from the streets, camps, police stations, detention centers and welcome them in the safety of our homes in Athens. In 5 years of operation, we have created 14 shelters with the capacity to accommodate 270 children where we have provided a holistic network of child protection services through an individual development plan addressing the general and particular needs of each child, including mental health, educational, social, pedagogical, legal support and social integration services. The HOME Project has supported more than 700 children and created 170 jobs for both the local and refugee community.
Athens College (www.athenscollege.edu.gr)
The mission of the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation is to contribute to society as a beacon for Greek education, developing responsible global citizens and future leaders, inspired by Hellenic heritage and both American and European liberal values. Its aim is to provide the essence of education by helping each individual to achieve their highest potential and unique aspirations, instilling in them respect for themselves and others, cultivating a sense of civic duty, and exemplifying the highest ethical standards. Our aim, through academic excellence and critical thinking, is to inspire and transform students into graduates distinguished by creativity, teamwork and a spirit of discovery.
Athens College was founded in 1925 by enlightened Greeks, led by Emmanuel Benakis and Stephanos Delta, with the support of prominent American philhellenes, such as Edward Capps, Bert Hodge Hill, Charles Howland, and others. The College belongs to the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.
The Athens College Scholarship Program was established at the time of the School’s founding. Founders and first contributors of the Program were Stephanos and Penelope Delta, while Homer Davis, College President for over 30 years, spearheaded its design and operation. It is a distinct feature of the College’s character and its socio-pedagogical philosophy, whose objective is to support the diverse socio-economic composition of its student population.
Thanks to the Program, each year hundreds of students whose families have limited financial means or who face serious financial hardships receive assistance to attend the College, so that – as Stephanos Delta emphasized – the education provided by our School is not a “privilege of the affluent.”
Click here to read the Press Release in Greek