The Athens Solidarity Center (ASC) after 5 years of successful operation at the heart of the city supporting all those in need, is entering a new era with the support of the EEA Grants, and plans to keep supporting even more people in need of assistance.
The Center’s doors opened in December of 2014 and since then the Center is an exemplary best practice of cooperation between a public stakeholder (Athens Municipality), the local civil society and institutional funding bodies, such as the EEA Grants, that have supported the Center’s operation since its launch in 2014 until April of 2016.
From 2014 to 2019, more than 60.000 people have benefited from the services of the Athens Solidarity Center.
The Center follows an “open door policy” which means that it welcomes all regardless of nationality, origin, sexual orientation, religious or political belief. The only criterion that the Center has is vulnerability. The Center continues to serve hundreds who are in need on a daily basis, offering free services such as social, psychological, legal aid, employability counseling and accounting services.
“The Athens Solidarity Center has succeeded in embedding itself in the consciousness of people who often don’t have a lot of opportunities or options, as a space that can provide them with a solution or a way out of their multiple needs, which most times are urgent needs”, states Antigone Lyberaki, General Manager of SolidarityNow. “The EEA Grants have been companions of SolidarityNow for some time now, as they supported us when we first started our operations. They are standing by us again today, in order to support us in giving a bigger impetus to the services we offer at the Solidarity Center in order to be able to embrace even more people in a meaningful way: to solve with them their problems and concerns, but most importantly to empower them so they can reclaim their life again”.
“SolidarityNow is a trusted partner of Norway and the EEA Grants. We are proud to have supported the Athens Solidarity Centre in its early stages and are impressed with the progress and results. The donors’ renewed support to the Athens Solidarity Centre demonstrates our continuous commitment to the objectives of reducing social and economic disparities in Greece by supporting solutions that have a clear and practical impact on the society”, states the Ambassador of Norway to Greece, H.E. Mr. Frode Overland Andersen.
The second phase of our partnership, 2019 – 2021
The EEA Grants are funding the operation of the Athens Solidarity Center, setting common goals with SolidarityNow in the provision of holistic support to persons in danger of social exclusion, their empowerment and re-integration in society.
The Solidarity Center today offers high quality services to anyone in need – Greeks, refugees, migrants, other vulnerable groups, expanding its important scope of work to include the following:
- Social protection services
- Psychological support and counselling
- Legal service (counselling, court representation)
- Employability service (counselling)
- Accounting support
- Center for the Child (by the NGO ‘Network for Children’s Rights’, for children 0-12 years old)
The services offered at the Athens Solidarity Center are presented in detail in a video that was prepared to showcase the new partnership with the EEA Grants, inviting anyone in need of support to reach out and visit the Center in order to receive the appropriate help or advise.
You can watch the video
*Since May 2019 the Athens Solidarity Center is supported by EEA and Norway Grants and the fund is operated by CROWE Greece and HumanRights360. The Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.
**Athens Solidarity Center was established through Open Society Foundations and the EEA Grants 2009 – 2014 (EEAGR08.02), in cooperation with the Municipality of Athens until 30.04.2016.