During very difficult times for the 3.280 officially registered unaccompanied children located in Greece, more than 1.800 of which continue living under dangerous and inappropriate conditions (in penitentiary facilities, temporary settlements, even on the streets) due to lack of availability in accommodation facilities, The Hellenic Initiative (THI) takes on a significant role, supporting METAdrasi’s Transit Accommodation Facility of Unaccompanied Children in Samos with an amount of 125.000$, covering a great part of the costs for the period April-December 2018.
The Accommodation Facility, the only one for unaccompanied children on the island, started its operation, thanks to The Hellenic Initiative in April 2016 and has so far provided hospitality and care to dozens of children.
At this moment 12 children aged 7 to 16 years old live together in the accommodation facility of METAdrasi. 16-year old Hatem*, teen champion in cycling in Syria, is worried about his family back home, hoping the war ends soon in order to be able to return. Siblings, 8-year old Mamadou* and 11-year old Faridah*, are coming from Africa and are hoping to be granted asylum in Greece and are exemplary students at school. 12-year old Sami* from Syria, is waiting to be reunited with his sister, who is living in an E.U country. Among the children, there are three girls who attend a vocational school, trying to overcome the extremely difficult circumstances they faced back in their homeland. 7-year old Ramlah* from Syria is very passionate about dance and theatre improvising all day, even when tidying her room up.
These children, who have been separated from their families violently can find a welcoming and supporting environment in the accommodation facilities of METAdrasi. Specialized staff together with the members of the Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors of METAdrasi, help children become integrated in the educational system and develop skills through a variety of activities, as well as learn to care and respect each other.
“We are grateful to The Hellenic Initiative, which once again helped us protect the most vulnerable unaccompanied children, regardless of gender and age, from the terrible conditions of the Samos hotspot and the dangers facing them every day”, stated Lora Pappa, President of METAdrasi.
Michael Printzos, Director of Programming of The Hellenic Initiative, stated: “ΜΕΤΑdrasi’s work with unaccompanied minors is a shining example of the initiatives THI wishes to support. These children are the innocent victims of a humanitarian crisis and the least we can do is provide them with better and more humane living conditions, hoping that we can help them in building a better future for themselves while their homeland is scarred by war”.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.