by the Athens Solidarity Center of SolidarityNow
The case of the 57-year-old Greek woman who sought support by the Social service of the Athens Solidarity Center (ASC) was one of the most difficult and important ones. E.C. (her initials) informed the service’s specialized personnel that she has been a victim of systematic abuse by her close relatives, almost for all her life.
Ms. E.C. was forced to remain mostly at home, she was not given the chance to study at the University and was not allowed to work, not even when she became an adult. After decades of restrictions and isolation, she found the strength to visit the Athens Solidarity Center, in an attempt to win her life back, walking on a path into the light and facing the economic, social and psychological ‘suffocations’ she had suffered.
In the Athens Solidarity Center, after a thorough assessment of her needs by the Social service, she was referred to the Center’s Psychological service in order to be supported and empowered to build her self-esteem and perform small but crucial steps toward becoming a socially active individual.
In a very short time, E.C made remarkable progress which enabled ASC’s Employability service to intervene and support her effort to look for a job. Finally, with the coordinated efforts of the Social and Accounting services, E.C. managed to arrange financial and property issues and become a beneficiary of KEA (minimum guaranteed income).
Unfortunately, the recent decision by the Greek Ministry of Finance which raised the objective (estimated) property values in the city of Athens, resulted in E.C’s exclusion from the KEA program, along with thousands of other beneficiaries.
On this matter, SolidarityNow through its Advocacy Department published a press release, bringing this “injustice” to the spotlight. After the issue was raised, an independent Member of the Greek Parliament informed the organization that she has submitted a related question to the Minister of Finance seeking a solution so that the most vulnerable members of society can continue to benefit from the KEA, regardless of the recent changes in tax policy.
**The Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.