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EMBRACE THE REFUGEES IN GREECE BY PROVIDING A COMMUNITY CENTER

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Perichoresis Refugee Community Center "Oasis" in Katerini, Greece has as intention to support their social and labour integration into the local community. Ultimately, the key goal is to bring back the happiness to every refugee who lives among us.

A. Karypidis from Perichoresis NGOWrite a message

Perichoresis is an NGO based in Katerini and its purpose is to provide relief for those fleeing the conflict with priority given to vulnerable social groups in Northern Greece. Perichoresis operates under the auspices of the Greek Evangelical Church, is supervised by the Board of Directors in full compliance with NGO regulations.

Since March 2016, when thousands of refugees were stranded at Idomeni, we began the transfer of refugees to apartments in Katerini. We now manage 110 apartments in the city of Katerini accommodating approximately 540 refugees.

As we struggle to take care of these people, we realized that it was very important to equip them by providing educational activities that could lead beneficiaries to self-improvement and self-sufficiency. A number of educational projects have organized like Nursery School, English/Greek Language School, and Sport Activities. Besides, we have organized a variety of socio-therapeutic groups for children, adolescents, women, and men managed by specialized staff.

Many of our beneficiaries have succeeded to relocate to another EU country. Recently, we have welcomed many refugees from the islands in our housing project, for those the relocation process is very difficult. Most of them will receive asylum in Greece, that makes them very disappointed. For that reason we have decided to concentrate our efforts to their social, educational and labor integration intensifying activities like the above-mentioned. Besides, our next goal is to establish a Refugee Community Center.

Perichoresis Refugee Community Center “Oasis” aims on putting our beneficiaries back into the sphere of society. In this spirit, the Community Center will provide a friendly place for our beneficiaries to meet one another, discuss and relax. We hope that by having this space, the refugees will be able to get to know and help each other. Members from the local community will also be welcome to come, spend time with the refugees and exchange ideas.

Besides, we intent to launch some community service actions in association with local institutes and volunteer groups. We aim to reduce the gap between us and the local community through co-organizing and co-executing those voluntary actions by local community members and our beneficiaries. They will get to know about the common needs of their community and get together in order to overcome the challenges they meet. The Community Center will serve as a space where these community actions will be discussed, planned and carried out. In other words, “Oasis” will not be a collection of activities rather than a project based on the sense of community. 

This project is supported by the Maecenata Foundation, Munich/Berlin.

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