400 square metres for mothers and their children
To help those who are in urgent need of help is the main objective of the Centre for Refugee Women and Children, which is run by our partner Hellenic Ministries in Athens. It is met with a lot of interest by refugees from different countries. The number of people coming here is constantly growing. In spring 2018, the house was often refuge for up to 80 women and 120 children a day, which – spread over several floors – has a total area of about 400 square metres. In the previous year, the number of visitors was still significantly lower, but news of the help, which is provided here, gets around. The overall number of refugees, which are in Greece and need support, is also growing again.
A woman – whose face we do not want to show in the photo above – talks how she and her seven children escaped because she was threatened by the Taliban in Afghanistan. First, they had fled to Pakistan and then, making some detours, to Greece. Life in Greece was difficult because one of her daughters was very ill and needed medical treatment. She says: “For the children, I am both father and mother. I don’t know how long I will be able to do this. I am frightened of the future. I only want my children to be alright. I have nobody to talk to about my worries and fears.”
The Centre provides the woman with clothing, meals, English lessons, some basic foods and she is able to wash her and her children’s clothes. She would come to the Centre because she felt safe here. The children also had learned their first English words. ”Words cannot express how grateful I am that the Centre exits, as there is nowhere else where I could get help.”
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