Athens, 6 November 2018: The HOME Project, an international humanitarian non-profit organization which was founded in December 2016 and provides safety for refugee and migrant children who arrive in Greece alone, has received a €4 million donation from the IKEA Foundation (www.ikeafoundation.org) to support an additional 100 unaccompanied refugee children with housing, psychosocial, legal, educational and social integration services. The grant is part of the collective efforts of the Ascend Collaborative (www.ascendcollaborative.org/), a partnership of private sector organizations and foundations dedicated to improving the lives of refugees in Greece, of which the IKEA Foundation is a partner.
The IKEA Foundation’s new three-year grant of €4 million will specifically enable The HOME Project to secure the right to safety for 100 children who have been forced to flee their homes and countries, thus maintaining its mission to provide secure accommodation and comprehensive holistic support services, helping children to recover from deep trauma and build a new future for themselves.
More than 3,400 of the refugees currently in Greece are unaccompanied minors. Of those, more than 2,400 are homeless and living on the streets, in camps, detention centers; all at risk of violence, sexual abuse, exploitation and organ trafficking. Overall, in its first 20 months, The HOME Project, which was founded by the Libra Group in 2016, has been able to support more than 300 children and created over 130 jobs. The IKEA Foundation is a close partner and valuable supporter of The HOME Project’s initiatives, having also funded, in 2017, the opening and operation of five new shelters.
Sofia Kouvelaki, Executive Director of The HOME Project, commented: “Unaccompanied refugee children are presently in our country in an effort to reunite with their families in other European countries or be granted asylum in Greece. More often than not, they have ended up in Greece after travelling completely on their own, fleeing the violence of war or persecution and under horribly dangerous conditions. Today, these children are the most vulnerable population of refugees and have to be protected so that they become – what they are – children again.”
Stelios Kyriakakis, Chief Operating Officer, IKEA Foundation, said: “All children have the right to safety and security. That is why the IKEA Foundation is supporting The HOME Project to help secure this right for children who have been forced to flee their homes, helping them survive, recover and build a future for themselves”.
The HOME Project is actively seeking donations and support to help combat this refugee crisis which is the largest humanitarian disaster since the Second World War. More than 1 million refugees have arrived in Greece since the start of 2015 and are in desperate need of aid and shelter.
All grants and donations to The HOME Project’s work are directed to unaccompanied minors helping them to be safe, fed, clothed, sheltered, and integrated into society. The HOME Project continues to seek and enlist all forms of donation, grants, assistance and giving-in-kind to benefit the cause and have a direct impact on the lives of these children and youth.
For more information, please contact:
Vassilis Michailidis | +30 216-809-9152 | [email protected]
Christina Economou | +30 216-809-9152 | christina.economou @homeproject.org
Notes to Editors
The HOME Project (www.homeproject.org)
Standing for ‘Help, Overcome, Motivate, and Empower’, The HOME Project’s mission is threefold. First, to bring unaccompanied minors to safety in dedicated shelters where they will be clothed, fed, and supported. Second, to source, refurbish, and convert unused buildings throughout Greece into shelters, bringing them back to life and into good use. Third, through the conversion, refurbishment, and ongoing operation of these shelters it is creating employment, including for refugees – 130 new jobs were created in its first year of operation. At the moment, The HOME Project is housing more than 300 children in eleven homes and has created more than 130 jobs.
The HOME Project was set up in 2016 by the Libra Group in response to the global refugee crisis. An international business active in 35 countries across six continents, the Libra Group was founded on the core values of integrity, respect and trust – values which continue to drive the organization today wherever it finds itself in the world.
The IKEA Foundation (www.ikeafoundation.org)
The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) works to create a better everyday life for the many people. As the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies, we focus on improving the lives of vulnerable children by enabling their families to create sustainable livelihoods, and to fight and cope with climate change. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation.
The Ascend Collaborative (www.ascendcollaborative.org/)
The Ascend Collaborative is a partnership of private sector entities and philanthropists coming together to support frontline grassroots organizations working to improve the lives of refugees in Greece. The Collaborative focuses on both humanitarian assistance and socio-economic integration, and has given out more than 4 million EUR in grants during its first year of operations to 12 local partners. The IKEA foundation is a partner to the Collaborative, alongside the Radcliffe Foundation, Coca-Cola and The Libra Group. Seeded by Canadian-based philanthropist Frank Giustra, the Collaborative also incubates new projects, most recently Greece’s first social impact fund, the Ascend Venture Fund, working to create job opportunities for refugees.