ATHENS SOLIDARITY CENTER: 6.170 people benefited from its services from June 2019 until December 2020

Copyright Steven Tagle

Athens Solidarity Center by SolidarityNow:

6.170 people benefited from 22.085 pro bono services during the period June 2019 – December 2020

 Satisfaction survey: 91% of the ASC’s beneficiaries declared to be fully satisfied with the services provided.

By the end of 2020, 18 months have passed since the second phase of the grant by the financial mechanism EEA Grants*, was provided for the operation of the Solidarity Center of SolidarityNow in Athens.

During this challenging and testing time, given the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic which constantly and unpredictably alter individual, collective, and social freedoms, the Athens Solidarity Center (ASC) stands by those in need. By continuously adapting its operation, remotely and in person, the ASC teams (legal, social, accounting, psychological, employability) provided free services through 22.085 sessions to 6.170 people. The Center follows an “open door” policy, meaning that it welcomes all individuals, indiscriminately – regardless of nationality, origin, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs etc., based solely on their need. Below are some indicative results that certify its impact, during these adverse conditions as well as the story of a beneficiary supported by the Center:

  • 32% of the 758 employability service beneficiaries found a job.
  • 1166 social benefits were issued for social service beneficiaries.
  • 85% of family reunification cases managed by the legal service were successful.

A case of family reunification with a positive outcome

 The 9-year-old Syrian of Kurdish origin arrived in Greece as an unaccompanied minor. His mother helped all her children escape the war and a few days ago her two sons in Germany, welcomed their little brother, the 9-year-old beneficiary of the Athens Solidarity Center.

This success was the result of the coordinated efforts of the legal and social service teams of the Athens Solidarity Center. The two services joined forces to immediately start the procedures when the 9-year-old arrived at the Center. They firstly worked to offer him a stable protective environment, and then to justify his recognition as an applicant of international protection and request his reunion with his siblings. The positive outcome of the case was announced before the end of 2020 and a few days later, the 9-year-old traveled to Germany to reunite with his brothers.

Athens Solidarity Center’s beneficiaries: Satisfaction survey

SolidarityNow regularly evaluates the services provided at the Center with the aim of continuously improving them in order to meet people’s needs as well as the dynamic social conditions. This was the goal of the survey conducted in two rounds – May-June 2020 and November-December 2020, through personal interviews with 315 and 336 beneficiaries, respectively.

89% of the participants in the 1st and 92% of the participants in the 2nd rounds of the survey, stated that they are completely satisfied with the ASC, both regarding the services provided and the staff of the Center. The Solidarity Center continues its work, i.e., to be on the side of those in need, helping them to overcome obstacles while offering practical solutions. We continue, motivated by our beneficiaries that encourage and urge us to try harder:

“They [employability service] not only connected me with possible employers and educational trainings but also detected in me personal abilities I could never imagine I had. This had a great impact on my appraisal by the employers and my self-confidence”, beneficiary of the employability service, from Greece. I visited the Center in a confused state. After two years of sessions with my psychologist, I can declare that he is the reason of my calmness today”, beneficiary of the psychological service, from Iran.

Find more in the relevant infographic.

*Since May 2019 the Athens Solidarity Center is financed by EEA and Norway Grants, with HumanRights360 and CROWE Greece as the fund operator. The Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.