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Participation in the first Round Table for the Supported Semi-Independent Living for Unaccompanied Minors

METAdrasi’s dynamic participation in the first Round Table for the Supported Semi-Independent Living for Unaccompanied Minors in Greece

The first Round Table for the Supported Semi-independent Living for unaccompanied minors in Greece took place a few days ago. The event was co-hosted by the Supreme Court Public Prosecutor’s Office and the National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA), with the support of UNICEF and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and with technical input from the inter-agency Alternative Care Task Force.

The purpose of the meeting was to present to the participants a new model of alternative care provision specially designed for unaccompanied minors aged 16 to 18. The Round Table brought together national and international authorities, as well as institutional and other entities that deal with child protection in Greece.

Within the framework of the meeting, METAdrasi presented a suggested plan for the implementation of activities related with the Supported Independent or Semi-independent Living in Greece, along with a comparative analysis of other European models the Greek model was based on.

“We noticed that the unaccompanied minors aged 16-18 have ended up being the least vulnerable among the vulnerables”, mentioned Christina Dimakou, member of METAdrasi’s programmes and development department. “These children have different needs and it has been proven through other European countries’ practices that the gradual decrease of external control boosts the minor and contributes to a smooth transition to independence”, added Claire Pavlaki, the project’s manager.

METAdrasi has recently initiated the implementation of the activity “Supported Semi-independent living for unaccompanied minors”, with the support and funding of UNICEF, the important contribution of the Public Prosecutor for Minors and METAdrasi’s Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors, as well as with the cooperation of EKKA (National Center for Social Solidarity).

METAdrasi’s initiative offers, apart from safe housing, a series of services that cover the adolescent’s basic needs. Emphasis is given to setting targets, boosting self-esteem and self-preservation, with the aim of enabling their smooth coming of age and integration to Greek society.

At a point where more than 2,000 unaccompanied minors, many of them teenagers, live in our country under adverse conditions, in detention, in camps or even in the street, due to the lack of availability in appropriate accommodation, Supported Semi-independent Living model suggests a groundbreaking and sustainable solution.

During the discussions, Greek speakers presented the suggested institutional framework, while the foreign participants, Organization representatives that implement similar programmes in Holland, Italy and the UK, communicated their relevant experience and best practices.