The magnificent seven!

Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow

It is just seven months old, yet is a hyperactive creature with restless eyes!

Our entrance into this solidarity home causes anxiety to this creature that feels uncomfortable and suddenly moves behind the door, just a breath away from the 3-year-old Josephine who knows she will offer protection, if necessary. She changes places at least ten times until she ends up under the left corner of Josephine’s bed; there she will be able to have everything under supervision; meaning our feet!

Her name?

Kitty.

Her identity?

Persian cat.

If we described her in one word, what would that be?

Bushy!

So, Kitty is the seventh member of the family in this solidarity home, that, as they say, is an equal member with its rights and obligations. These are truly the “magnificent seven”!

The family is in Greece since 1995, where they came as migrant workers. Today they are not considered migrants anymore, but they remain people who need to try hard to live in dignity, as the economic crisis in Greece has “brought them upside down”, as Daniela, 34, mother of three children, says and smiles bitterly. The same does her husband, Sergio, who shakes his head, applauding Daniela’s words. Our discussion for their family history that brings them today in one of the solidarity homes is often interrupted by their children’s crying and requests; but the solution is coming from the grandmother, the sixth but main member of the family who is there and solves everything.

The grandmother Anna who is only 65 years old has many stories to narrate. Anna her spouse sought a better future for their children in Greece in the mid-1990s. They worked hard and at some point, their efforts paid off, some of the dreams come true, their children grew up and they were living altogether happily. Thereafter, Anna’s daughter, Daniela, met Sergio and the couple started its life; today they are the parents of three children. However, the next years were not so good as the first ones of their common life – discharges, frustrations, increased needs, reduced revenues.

They first asked support by the competent services of the Municipality of Athens and later they were introduced to SolildarityNow; this is how they are nowadays residents of one of the six solidarity homes. They are so happy and grateful! “I laugh again! I’m not afraid now, I’ve gotten low and now I feel like I’m reclaiming life“, Daniela says. Sergio does not talk so much, but his eyes shine excited.

Now they have a home they can start from the beginning. They know, and they are not afraid of working hard. Now, Daniela works for a few hours in a retail store and is very happy about it; Sergio tries to find any job – they do not give up.

In one of the house’s rooms there is a table full of open books and notebooks; this is the office of the 8-year-old Natalia who goes to school. Her two younger siblings run around her and mix her things; a classic family moment in a home with children – a moment of a solidarity home.

Anna, the grandmother, Daniela and Sergio will make it; Greece is their country, they feel very close to the Greeks and do not change it. Together with Kitty, who is moving from her position, the family accompanies us to the door while we reschedule our appointment for a next meeting. Kitty looks at us until we leave the corridor – probably wanting to make sure we leave – this solidarity home is all hers again.

Help us support more Families to find a safe Home – A Solidarity Home. Click here: https://www.solidaritynow.org/solidarity-homes/ 


*Solidarity Homes is a program implemented by SolidarityNow in collaboration and with the support of the organization Help Refugees. Through the program, which was initiated in June 2017, accommodation is offered to the most vulnerable population groups – Greeks and refugees – on the sole criterion of their urgent need.