LAND OF STORYTELLERS
Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it's often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, the capital, features historic landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.
Recently, however, Greece has become known as the landing spot for refugees fleeing war and persecution from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa to seek peace. Worldwide awareness of the refugee crisis grew following a sequence of events beginning with the record number of people who fled into Greece in June 2015 and culminating in the photograph published of drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi. The haunting image of his lifeless body on a Turkish beach on September 2, 2015 was shared more than 20 million times on social media. Since 2015, over a million refugees have fled to Greece.
This summer, HELP International will be sending a team of volunteers to work with refugee populations in Greece. Volunteers work with partner organizations in-country to provide social and emotional support and services to people seeking refuge from war, persecution, and violence. These refugees are spread across refugee camps, housing projects, and squatter settlements. The Greece Crisis team will have less structure than traditional HELP programs in order to respond effectively to evolving situations and will be overseen on the ground by members of our executive staff.
Some projects our HELP teams in Greece have participated in recently include:
- Activities with children
- Clothing and food distribution
- Soccer programs
- Teaching English
- Tea distribution
- Resume workshops
- Social activities to raise morale in the camps