We wanted to take a moment to update everyone on what we’ve been doing so far since leaving Oinofyta camp in August, and what our next steps are.
So far we’ve been…
- Working on individual cases to find accommodation placements for single men currently in camps, squats or on the streets
- Setting up appointments with migration lawyers
- Distributing direct aid (ponchos, hygiene kits and food) to people sleeping rough in Athens and Patras with the help of One Human Race, DYP and Foodkind
- Renovating our new office
Now, our priorities are
Pilot Housing Project
- This is our number one priority. As everyone can imagine, it’s impossible to build sustainable employment, education and social networks without a safe and stable base. Currently very few single men are able to access refugee housing programs due to not being considered vulnerable, and are thus living in dangerous and undignified conditions. We plan to launch a pilot housing project, renting 2 apartments with maximum 4 men in each. An apartment costs €300 a month, plus €150 in bills. We will assess the project continuously for 6 months by making sure the guys are comfortable and safe and that costs are well-managed, before a final evaluation. Based upon this, we will be able to improve the housing project before upscaling this service.
- We have been frustrated about how little understanding many of the guys have about their own asylum cases due to lack of access to legal counsel. To remedy this, we are working with an excellent Greek immigration lawyer on complex individual cases. We would also like to run general information sessions about refugees’ rights in Greece so that more male refugees are aware of what legal rights they are entitled to.
Of course to achieve these important steps, we need your help! Please consider:
Donating to our YouCaring page or our bank account (IBAN: ES05 0073 0100 5705 0539 8837 SWIFT CODE: OPENESMM)
Organising a fundraiser (movie night, bake sale, charity dinner with friends, or any other ideas you might have)
Sharing our Facebook and YouCaring pages with your friends and networks
Spreading the word. Talk about all the difficulties single male refugees are going through right now. The media may have moved on from the refugee crisis in Greece, but unfortunately it will remain a crisis for many of these young men for years to come. The more awareness you can help to raise about this issue and the work FORGE is doing, the easier it will be for us to help them build stable and dignified lives.