These programmes are above all aimed at refugees: because they come from another country and speak neither Greek nor English, many women and children are offered the opportunity of learning the language. But others too need support when it comes to education. There is, for example, a settlement, where many Roma live, whose children are not yet capable of following lessons. A school preparation course, which was launched in 2016, gives children the opportunity to catch up. Only then, children, who enter regular schooling later, will have a chance at all to succeed.
Apart from all practical support, these offers – whether medical, social or aimed at education – are above all regarded by our Greek partner as a chance to meet people. What we want to achieve with these meetings – and this is a demand we put on ourselves – that the person we meet and talk to, feels that she or he is a valuable creature that is loved by God. Of course, we are not always successful, but in many cases these people in need leave the centre feeling enriched, for example
- because someone took the time to be with them
- because they were encouraged by small gestures, an affectionate word, a hug
- because they had the opportunity to talk about profound questions of meaning and belief
- because they experienced highlights like the joint Christmas celebrations or in individual cases retreats outside the city.