For the first time in Greece, Supported Independent Living for unaccompanied refugee girls
Anita and Naya live in the first apartment for girls that was created within the framework of METAdrasi’s activity “Supported Independent Living for Unaccompanied Minors” (SIL), which offers to beneficiaries, aged 16-18, an innovative support model, aiming at a smooth transition to adulthood and their integration into Greek society.
The two refugee girls arrived in Greece alone, without relatives, each one from a different continent. Just like most unaccompanied children, they were forced to go through hard experiences and challenges and they have developed impressive maturity and determination. This activity, designed according to the needs of this specific age group of unaccompanied minors, encourages them to develop their skills and potentials.
As in the two first apartments of the activity, where boys live together, the two girls share the responsibilities and take care of the house chores and are gradually preparing themselves, with the help of METAdrasi’s staff and volunteers, to meet the demands of adulthood, when they turn 18.
“I am lucky to be here and have the opportunity to build my future”, states Anita. The 17-year-old girl loves sports and attends Tae Kwon Do lessons daily. At the same time, she studies intensively for school, with the aim of succeeding in the field of genetics. “It is important to predict the emergence of diseases, in order to protect people”, she adds.
Naya, on the other hand, has an artistic temperament, she is very creative, likes to draw and design and dreams of becoming a graphic designer. As a student, she is particularly diligent. For a school project, she drew education “as a big shinning sun that never fades”.
The two girls have common interests: they like books, cinema and going out with friends. They go together to school every day, just like many girls of their age.
More than 3,400 unaccompanied children, like Anita and Naya, are in Greece alone, while more than 2,000 live in inappropriate conditions, due to lack of adequate accommodation facilities.
By the end of 2018, two more girls are expected to move in with Anita and Naya. METAdrasi seeks to extend this activity with three more apartments, aiming to support a total of 24 teenagers. The exceptional results of the activity prove that, innovative initiatives such as SIL, promote further solutions that prioritise the best interests of children.
METAdrasi’s activity “Supported Independent Living for Unaccompanied Minors” started in January 2018, with valuable support and funding of UNICEF and the important contribution of the Public Prosecutors for unaccompanied minors, METAdrasi’s Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors, as well as with the cooperation of the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA).