A country with its own and external worries
Euro crisis, over-indebtedness, a high level of unemployment – for years, Greece has been confronted with enormous economic problems and political challenges. However, the work, which is supported by wortundtat, has existed significantly longer than this economic and financial crisis: since the beginning of the 1980ies, we, in cooperation with our partner Hellenic Ministries, have been aiding people in need of help in Greece’s capital Athens.
In the summer of 2015, the country was hitting the headlines again. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to Europe in search of protection against war and persecution in their native countries. Many took the route via Turkey to the Greek Isle of Lesvos. Since then, the refugee aid on the island, speedily organised by our partner, has become an important part of our work there.
Misery has many faces
Whilst everybody concentrated on the plight of refugees, others in need – the old as well as the young – disappeared from the view of the public. However, in the country, which is completely overwhelmed by the vast number of problems, their situation has rather worsened. Apart from those looking for refuge, impoverished Greek pensioners, unemployed people with their families, East Europeans, Roma and other groups at the so-called ‘fringe of society’, are fighting for their daily survival. Many of them have nowhere to live, not enough to eat or to clothe themselves and hardly any prospects.
Hellenic Ministries operates two social-diaconal centres in the capital Athens; one is predominantly for families and men, the other for single women with children. A small group offering education for children of Roma families has taken up its work in 2016. Depending on the requirements, more locations might be added.
Our projects comprise the following sectors:
The staff of our partner treat the people in need with great respect, attentiveness and appreciation. Apart from tangible, concrete aid, they always also offer a personal meeting and the exchange of questions concerning meaning and belief. People in need, who in Athens often have to rely on themselves and who can hardly expect any outside help, experience with our partner that there are people who empathise, respect them and take care of them.
Examples of how we provide concrete help and at the same time emotionally support people in need, are available here.