“Instead of building walls we need to build bridges”

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the SolidarityNow Solidarity Center
for the most vulnerable populations

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, on the first day of his arrival in Greece, visited the Athens Solidarity Center, to be on the side of the refugees and to see firsthand the taken by the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The Secretary General, as part of a brief visit to our country, visited the SolidarityNow Athens Solidarity Center, where he met and spoke with the President of the organization, Mr. Stelios Zavvos, members of the Board of the organization, employees and volunteers of the program, on how to assist the most vulnerable people in our country.

“I am very moved and it is a great pleasure to visit this Solidarity Center of SolidarityNow. It’s a small place but they provide so much. It’s the first place I am visiting in Greece”, stated the UN Secretary General. To continue referring to the current crisis: “Many thousands of people have lost their lives. When your life is threatened you have to run and seek help. And this crisis today is a crisis of solidarity. For this reason, I want to talk with the world leaders. Because this crisis has become a global issue. My initiative taken is to reinforce each other. The leaders should show their compassion and not to discriminate, not to succumb to xenophobic sentiments. Refugees and migrants can contribute to the community with their skills, their knowledge, their education. And we have to give them education and job opportunities. Instead of building walls we need to build bridges between people”, the UN Secretary General concluded.

The UN Secretary General was informed about our more than 100,000 free services (medical, legal, psychosocial, etc.) that we have offered from 2014 until today, to more than 40,000 vulnerable people affected by the crisis.

“The current visit of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at the SolidarityNow Center underlines the vital importance that the international community acknowledges regarding the work that all NGOs, the civil society and all Greek people offer to solve the refugee crisis” noted the President of SolidarityNow, Mr. Stelios Zavvos. And he emphasized: “Above all, it is but an acknowledgment and an encouragement for those who are on the front line serving the European ideals of solidarity and democracy under the most adverse conditions”.

Until today, SolidarityNow has allocated 15 million euros for projects related to addressing the socio-economic and humanitarian crisis in Greece.

Ban Ki-moon, who arrived in our country to meet with Greek officials, will depart tomorrow Saturday, June 18, for Lesvos to meet and talk with refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, volunteers, organizations, citizens and local authorities.


Watch the video of the visit here: