by the Social Service of the Athens Solidarity Center*
The Social Service of the Athens Solidarity Center by SolidarityNow provides daily specialized and personalized support to beneficiaries from different backgrounds with multiple needs. One of the most interesting and challenging cases that we recently took care of, was the one of N.K., a woman from Pakistan who arrived in Greece last summer.
N.K. is a highly educated person, member of a wealthy family, who had been working for years in the banking sector. Her life changed dramatically around five years ago, when her sexual orientation was exposed, at first to her parents and later to the man that she had been forced to marry. After being subjected to multiple kinds of abuse by her relatives and husband, she finally managed to flee Pakistan and arrived in Europe.
When she first visited the Athens Solidarity Center three months ago, she was in bad condition both physically and psychologically, because of the severe difficulties she had experienced during her journey, but also because of her dire living conditions in Greece.
With the coordinated efforts by the Center’s Social Service, N.K. was referred to the Greek Asylum Service and shortly after managed to obtain her legal documents. Then, regarding her accommodation, an application was sent to the ESTIA hosting program for asylum seekers and as a result, N.K. is now accommodated in the context of a hosting project dedicated to the LGBT+ refugees. She was also assisted to have thorough medical tests and get fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Moreover, the support provided by the Center’s psychological service was of great help to N.K. She had weekly sessions for the past three months with one of the Service’s psychologists, and that helped her to overcome the negative experiences and focus on the efforts to rebuild her life in a new, protective environment.
All the above, combined with N.K.’s strong desire to learn the Greek language and actively enter the labor market soon, make us, the ASC team, presenting her case as a story of strength, courage and hope. It also shows how valuable is the cooperation and interconnection among the various services offered at the Center; these two principles are the foundation on which the Center’s overall operation is based.
*From 1/8/2021 till 31/7/2022, the Athens Solidarity Center’s operation is supported through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in the framework of its global COVID-19 Relief Initiative.
**From 1/7/2021 till 30/6/2022, Kahane Foundation supports the Psychosocial service of the Athens Solidarity Center.
*** The Athens Solidarity Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.