Safe Refugee and Proud!

Valia Savvidou & Stefania Athanasiou

On Saturday, June 10th and during the three-day period, June 14th to 17th, SolidarityNow participated in Athens and Thessaloniki Pride, respectively, on the side of the LGBTI population.

The aim of the organization’s presence at the Festival was to stand by the LGBTI community and to present its own work on the protection and rights’ defense of the very sensitive population of the LGBTI refugees.

Operating under the principles of equality, respect, freedom of expression and solidarity, the organization implements, since November 2016, the “Safe Refugee” program, the specialized program for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers who face double stigma; being both LGBTI and a refugee.  

This Festival provided the opportunity to join the voice of the Greek LGBTI community with that of the LGBTI refugee community through actions and things that unite people, all people, regardless of their origin, color, sexual orientation, social status. Music, colorful balloons, interactive awareness games, colorful informational material, and the cheerful general climate, were the means to highlight the joint requests of all for equality and respect.

Thousands of people visited the SolidarityNow kiosk, in both Athens and Thessaloniki, and had the opportunity to be informed about the “Safe Refugee” program, while their interaction with the organization’s people is a small step towards sensitization, against discrimination and in favor of acceptance and respect of human rights.

In SolidarityNow we believe that initiatives like these encourage societies to move ahead, to gradually become the open societies for which we work for, and in which we all have a position as equal members who deserve equal opportunities.


*In the framework of the specialized housing and support program, entitled “Safe Refugee”, SolidarityNow provides accommodation to LGBTI refugees in independent apartments in Athens and Thessaloniki. The program’s participants receive psychosocial support, legal aid, while they take part in educational and recreational activities; they are also part of a wider network that aims to improve their living conditions and support them while staying in Greece.

The Hosting and Accommodation Programs are developed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).