SolidarityNow, amid COVID-19, creates new innovative training tools responding to the needs of vulnerable populations

Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow

The organization adjusts its programs and continues to support people living in refugee sites. 

“Readiness, Creativity, Teamwork”: that is the motto driving the SolidarityNow efforts to continue its activities so as to respond to the intensive needs aroused in the times of COVID-19, for the people living in refugee sites. In addition to its presence in the field, the organization created and functions a series of new educational, entertainment and informational tools.

The “Child and Family Support Hubs” program is implemented by SolidarityNow with the support of UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and EU funding, at 14 refugee camp sites in Greece. Since the beginning of the health crisis, field teams providing daily legal, psychosocial, and educational support, have created several alternative training tools for the services they offer, in order to maintain their relationship with the beneficiaries. Specifically, SolidarityNow teams undertook the following activities:

  • created a digital podcast training channel entitled SolidarityNow rings a bell!, where children and adults can listen to a series of educational and entertaining messages
  • at the refugee sites of Ritsona and Malakasa, the teachers shifted the weekly delivery of printed exercises into an online format in order for adult and minor students to continue their lessons
  • at the Blue Refugee Center of SolidarityNow, in Thessaloniki, teachers continue the online lessons with the teenager students who have access to digital platforms
  • created 14 groups via Facebook (Fb groups) – one for each of the women’s community existing in each refugee site – through which women can communicate with the SolidarityNow specialized staff, seek advice on issues that concern them, spend their time creatively or even ask for dedicated assistance.

“The crisis caused by the coronavirus in everyone’s life, along with the initial shock and fear it triggered, led us all, and especially our teams working in the field, to become more inventive. Our goal was not to let the measures of social distancing lead to alienation, especially of our most vulnerable fellow human beings. With the help of technology, we have discovered alternative but also creative ways to continue our lessons and group activities in an online public ‘space’, while we have tirelessly continued to inform and provide psychosocially support to the most vulnerable, both remotely but also face to face when allowed, taking the necessary precautions”, says Christiana Kyrkou, Head of SolidarityNow’s Program at the refugee sites.

* The Child Friendly Support Hubs project is implemented by SolidarityNow with the support of UNICEF and IOM Greece and funded by the European Commission.