PRESS RELEASE: SolidarityNow stands by the side of the refugees from Ukraine

Copyright Myroslava Klius

Today, February 24, 2023, marks one year since the start of the war in Ukraine, a historic moment for Europe and the world, which has shaken the global public opinion.

Today, one year later, the figures are shocking as the war in Ukraine created the largest refugee crisis in Europe more than 80 years after World War II. Only in our country, more than 80,000 Ukrainians have arrived, while 22,000 have received temporary protection status. Behind the numbers are human lives lost, families separated, and uncertainty regarding returning home.

Solidarity Now was from the very first moment on the side of all those who arrived at Greece from the war zone, responding directly to the needs of the new refugee population, composed mainly of women and children. Initially, the organization provided documented answers to the most frequently asked questions by the refugees through the “Guide for Ukrainian refugees” created on its website.

Moreover, a series of actions are implemented, and services provided, aiming at empowerment and smooth integration:

  • 372 of our fellow human beings benefited from the services offered at the “Children and Female Friendly Space” of SolidarityNow and UNICEF, which was created in March 2022 in Promachonas, Serres. 95% of them are children.
  • 272 children from Ukraine attend Greek courses through their participation in the program “All Children in Education” in northern and southern Greece, aiming at their smooth transition to the Greek public education system.
  • 158 of our fellow citizens have been served by the social service of the Athens Solidarity Center with the main request to cover basic needs for: medical care (15%), asylum application in Greece (12%), housing and social welfare benefits (12%) and/or the issuance of legal documents (6%).
  • 510 Ukrainians attend Greek language courses through the HELIOS Project.
  • 146 have received support by the employability services provided by the Athens Solidarity Center and by the organization’s experts at the open accommodation sites in Serres and Kavala. 81% of them are women.
  • 57 women have been supported by the “Female Friendly Space” of SolidarityNow, that operated until December 2022 in the open accommodation sites of Serres and Kavala.
  • 31 children from Ukraine have attended robotics workshops at the Eugenides Foundation, as part of the Healing Play program implemented with the support of the US Embassy in Athens. The program aims to heal trauma through play.

*The programme “All Children In Education” is a UNICEF initiative, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by a number of partners, including SolidarityNow.

**SolidarityNow is a key implementing partner of the International Organization for Migration (IOM Greece), in the framework of the HELIOS project which is funded by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

***Since August 2022, the Athens Solidarity Center by SolidarityNow is financed by EEA Grants, with ΣΟΛ Crowe and HumanRights360 as the fund operator.

The Athens Solidarity Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.

**** The implementation of “Healing Play” is supported by the US Embassy in Athens.