Among the hundreds of asylum seekers who gather daily at the Asylum Service in Athens and Thessaloniki, there are many mothers with babies and young children, as well as unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). They often have to wait for hours at the courtyard of the Asylum Service, in conditions inappropriate for their age and vulnerability (heat and sun in the summer, cold and rain in winter, etc). Responding to their needs, METAdrasi created and operates Mother and Child Spaces at the Asylum Service in Athens, which started its operation in June 2016 and in Thessaloniki, since May 2017. Mothers can breastfeed and take care of their babies in a friendly and appropriate environment, while young children have the opportunity to play safely and to be occupied creatively by our team members, with the valuable help of our volunteers.
The project was realised thanks to the dedicated and coordinated work of METAdrasi’s team, the cooperation of the Asylum Service and thanks to donations in kind (eg. Container, A/C). The Mother and Child Areas run from Monday to Friday, 08.30-14.30.
On average, over 400 mothers and children benefit on a monthly basis from the activity in both locations. More precisely, METAdrasi’s team in Mother and Child Spaces, since the beginning of their operation until September 2019, has catered for 11,660 mothers and 25,500 children, from newborns up to children of 16 years of age.