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Welcoming the French Minister of State for European Affairs in our offices

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On Saturday, the 19th of September, we had the honour of welcoming the French Minister of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, accompanied by the French Ambassador in Athens, Patrick Maisonnave, and the Representative of the UNHCR, Philippe Leclerc.

The Minister impressed us with his straightforwardness and moved us with his honest interest for the work of a Greek civil society organisation, as well as for the experiences of the refugees themselves, and particularly the women who are alone in our country and trying to integrate.

First, he spoke with women who, after a determined process of education and certification, became members of METAdrasi’s team of 350 interpreters. The key role played by quality interpretation in the management of mixed migration flows was emphasised.

The next to speak to him were women who, despite their traumatic experiences and the difficult conditions they face, attend the intensive adults’ Greek lessons at METAdrasi without fail, noting how important learning the Greek language is for their integration in society.

Finally, the Minister listened attentively to the adventure of an unaccompanied girl, who lived in a Supported Independent Living apartment of METAdrasi and who, when she became an adult, was moved to UNHCR’s accommodation programme. While she had learned Greek and had received her high school diploma, she became homeless from one moment to the next, due to the eviction measures of recognised refugees from the apartments of the ESTIA programme.

The Minister congratulated the President Lora Pappa for the important work that METAdrasi performs. We warmly thank him for the time he devoted to us, and the French Embassy for the post () and its continued support.

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