The Greek Prime Minister Mr. Alexis Tsipras visited the Tilos Family Hospitality Center on December 13, 2016.
He was greeted by Tilos Mayor Ms Maria Kamma, the SolidarityNow staff, the program’s beneficiaries and many residents. The Mayor informed the Prime Minister about the program which is supported by UNHCR and SolidarityNow, on positive attitude of the islanders towards the refugees and about all the efforts made since the beginning of the refugees’ flows.
The Prime Minister visited the classroom, the playground, the restaurant while he was invited by a beneficiary to visit her home. Mr Tsipras was informed about the Greek, English and Arabic language lessons that are offered to our beneficiaries, as well as on the fact that the refugees cook for themselves based on their own eating habits.
The PM was moved when he heard some refugee children speaking Greek and he said that he was impressed by the way Tilos is organized concerning the refugee issue and by the peaceful coexistence of the refugees with the locals. He said he has not seen a similar Hospitality Center that is already been established a landmark.
Handmade gifts were offered by refugees to the Prime Minister – one of them was a painted cardboard box that symbolizes openness to life.
The visit was very emotional: little Wissam was in the arms of the Prime Minister all the time, while Thomas – who was born on a Super Puma- was cradled by the Minister of Defence.
Mr. Tsipras said that while Europe raises fences, Tilos is a safe haven.
SolidarityNow’s program in collaboration with the UNHCR is already a success where the beneficiaries acquire the necessary skills to pursue their lives, while they coexist peacefully with the local population – thus providing a good example to follow and Greece and in Europe in general.